If you are a non-US citizen (green card holders, H1-B, F-1, L, E, B any visa or illegal), you should be aware that certain convictions on your record can affect your current or potential immigration status in America. Even if you think it is minor conduct, such as, e.g., shoplifting of a piece of candy, do not underestimate the immigration consequences.
Criminal defense for non-US citizens requires special attention and legal representation by a criminal defense attorney who is aware of immigration consequences. Even if international people are convicted for an offense in a lower court (e.g., Municipal Court) such a conviction can often affect their visa/ immigration status. This unfortunate situation often results when U.S. immigration law or regulations define as a “Crime” an offense that state law grades as a petty or disorderly person offense. It is therefore wrong to assume that a non-US citizen’s criminal conviction does not affect immigration status as long as the conviction occurs in municipal court. It is the nature of the offense and the context of conviction that affect immigration status. But in fact, most criminal defense lawyers are not aware of such immigration consequences. When such a lawyer defends international people who commit a crime as defined under U.S. law, often a non-US citizen’s opportunity in America is jeopardized.
If you are arrested and convicted, the record of conviction is entered into certain databases and can be matched with various databases including those used for immigration purposes. One widely used database in the U.S. is National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Various information entered into NCIC is used by the FBI, Federal Government, States, local law enforcement authorities, and even certain foreign governments.
This office defends international clients in consultation with an immigration attorney. Crimes or even petty offenses allegedly committed by international people require knowledgeable criminal defense in order to protect their life chances in the U.S. Tailoring your defense and strategy based on your immigration needs and status can significantly affect your future life in America. Selecting the right criminal defense attorney can make a great difference in your life when you are a non-US citizen and get arrested.
If you are a non-US citizen and get arrested in New Jersey for any charges, contact this office immediately. This office represented many international people who committed a crime as defined under U.S. law and was successful in protecting their current or potential immigration status in America.
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