What offenses constitute a significant misdemeanor?

////What offenses constitute a significant misdemeanor?
This category is relatively new to immigration.  It was created as a product of Deferrred Action for Childhood Arrivals.  Because the program is entirely discretionary and determined on a case by case basis, significant misdemeanor was created to disqualify “criminals.”  It is a higher standard than most other programs.

USCIS defines a significant misdemeanor as a federal, state, or local criminal offense that may be accompanied by imprisonment of over 90 days.  The 90 days doesn’t include a suspended sentence.  The crime also must involves

  • violence,
  • threats,
  • assault (including domestic violence);
  • sexual abuse or exploitation;
  • burglary,
  • larceny,
  • fraud,
  • driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
  • obstruction of justice or bribery;
  • unlawful flight from arrest, prosecution, or the scene of an accident;
  • unlawful possession or use of a firearm;
  • drug distribution or trafficking; or
  • unlawful possession of drugs.

If you have been arrested and charged with any crime of violation, you must speak to a qualified New Jersey immigration attorney before you apply for Deferred Action or any immigration benefit.