How Being Charged with a Crime May Impact Your Green Card Application


How Being Charged with a Crime May Impact Your Green Card Application

In this short video, immigration attorney, Andres Mejer, talks about how being charged with a crime might affect your green card application. Andres tells you what your options are if you have a conviction.

Transcript (Transcripción):

Andres Mejer: Now we’re going to talk about the second subject of today’s program, how crimes can disqualify you from a Green Card and can it be waived? Now, last week we spoke of how to overcome an order of removal and still get a Green Card. Today, we’re going to discuss how criminal convictions can affect you and be overcome. Now, if you remember last week, we said, listen, you can either waive it or you can try to reopen the order. Guess what? It ain’t that different. If you have a conviction, you can either try to waive it or you can try to reopen it. Now, before we accept any client, we first analyze three things. One, do you have a path to legal status if you don’t stop there. 2, Is there something in your past that can disqualify you? And 3, can we overcome that issue? So here we’re going to be talking about to either what’s called a post conviction relief motion, which is we’re reopening the conviction or we’re asking for a waiver. We’re asking for immigration to forgive us for the following reasons. So talk about criminal convictions. George is married to a U.S. citizen, Maria. Maria is going to apply for him, but he has a criminal past. So let’s say George was convicted of a DUI. Now, that automatically disqualifies him from DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. He, lets say he’s a Green Card holder and his conviction was within the last three or five years. Well, that could prevent him from becoming a U.S. citizen until three or five years pass after his conviction. But it might not prevent him from getting his Green Card when Maria is applying for him. So it really depends. What’s the path we’re talking about? What’s the crime? Incredibly important, it is fact specific case by case. Let’s say George was convicted of domestic violence. Well, that might disqualify him from a Green Card depending on when it happened and what would happen if he was convicted 20 years ago. You could say he’s been rehabilitated. If it was last week to his wife who’s applying for his Green Card, well, now he might have a problem. It’s very fact specific. Let’s imagine George applying for a U visa and he’s convicted of domestic violence. So now we have to look at totality of the circumstances. Immigration is going to say, hey, with what crime did George help us out? Let’s say it was murder. Let’s say was something significant. What was he convicted of? Well, simple assault. But we have documentation from his wife that he’s reconciled, that they living together, that he’s seen anger management. He’s rehabilitated. He made a mistake and he realizes. OK, there he might get approved. But let’s say he’s applying for a U visa because he was a victim of of robbery and he was convicted of domestic violence where broke his girlfriend’s nose, split her eye. She had stitches. She has a permanent scar. And he was convicted and went to jail for three years. You know what? Now he’s likely to get denied. So it is very fact specific. Let’s say if he’s filing for VAWA. Violence Against Women Act, remember, it’s not limited to just women. Now, here again, he might have a problem because he needs to show that he’s suffered extreme cruelty from a bonafide relationship in, let’s say, to to to a spouse to Maria who is a U.S. citizen. But now he’s been shown to be the abuser. But here he’s saying that he suffered extreme cruelty, that she was abusing him, but he was convicted of abusing her. That could be a problem. Maybe it was a prior relationship. Maybe it was a long time he was rehabilitated. Or maybe he has four restraining orders against wife to be called the police multiple times. And in this one instance, he reacted poorly and he was convicted also. Again, totality of the circumstances. It really depends. But what’s the path to legal status, number one? Second. What’s the crime? What’s the issue that that that that disqualifies you in three? How can we overcome it? We’ve probably discussed waivers. This one is no different. Jorge needs to show that his spouse or parents who are U.S. citizens over a lawful permanent residents would suffer extreme hardship if the waiver is granted. Problem comes in. What happens if Jorge doesn’t have a qualifying relative? Let’s say it’s his son who’s applying from because his son is a U.S. citizen and over 21. He doesn’t have a qualifying relative, doesn’t have a parents or spouse. 

Andres Mejer :Let’s say they live far away. So his parents live in California and he can’t move there and they can’t move here. Well, he’s going to have a hard time showing that they’re going to suffer extremely if they live so far away or they don’t have extreme hardship. 

Andres Mejer :We’ve we’ve gone extraordinary lengths to prove extreme hardship, but some. But sometimes when it’s not there, it’s not there. So there we have to we have to consider something else like post conviction relief. This isn’t an appeal. A PCR motion can be filed much after a criminal appeal. Let’s say I was convicted of a DUI. God forbid. I have anywhere from 30 to 90 days to file for my appeal, depending on where it is and what the surface of the state is in this bill. I have a certain period of time. Once that time passes, that’s it. I can’t appeal anymore. So a PCR is a central way to challenge a conviction. You can file a PCR motion in Jersey within five years of the conviction after five years. You have to show exceptional circumstances. Why you didn’t file it sooner. That can be hard. But again, it’s fact specific. I filed it more than 20 years after the fact and I’ve gotten them approved. It’s a case by case analysis. Most common reasons for PCR number one, ineffective assistance of counsel. Here you have to show that your attorney made a significant mistake and that mistake prejudiced your case. You’re not entitled to the best attorney in the world. You’re only entitled to a reasonable attorney. And when a reasonable attorney would do so, if a reasonable attorney would have done it correctly, would have filed that notice of appeal. We’d have advised you that that is the wrong course of conduct. So think about it in a medical malpractise case. Well, if if a doctor is meant to operate on your right leg and he operates on your left leg. No reasonable doctor would operate on the wrong leg. Well, in the immigration attorney. In consequences, your immigration or your criminal attorney devised a defense strategy that no reasonable attorney would do. So it has to be a significant mistake and that it prejudiced you. 2, another reason is the judge didn’t give the appropriate warnings or instructions, for example, that their convictions could have immigration consequences. That this is a big deal because so let’s say I’m a Chilean citizen. I’m visiting from Chile and visiting relatives and I get accused of a crime. Now I have a plane ticket. I’m flying back next week. I don’t have a whole lot of time to defend this. 

Andres Mejer :And, you know, an attorney tells me, no problem. You pay a fine. It’ll go away. OK, great. So I plead guilty to my DUI. I pay my nine hundred dollar fine. I pay my attorney the well, the attorney that told me that likely is cheap because a good attorney will never to do that for a DUI. But let’s say I do. I do it with an attorney or without an attorney because I can’t stay or I don’t want to stay. I don’t want to deal with it. I’m not aware that it can have immigration consequences. And then when I want to come back for work and when I use my tourist visa, they say, oh, you’re disqualified because Europe, you’re a criminal. You were convicted of a DUI. Your visa is null and void. Now you’re like, wait a minute. I did know I was charged on Friday. I went to court on Monday. My plea was not knowing involuntary. There was no translator. I didn’t have an attorney. The judge didn’t inform me. I had no idea. Tell me. Paid a hundred bucks in Europe and you’re set. And I did. That’s the third reason. If you didn’t if the plea was not knowing involuntary Now. Usually it’s I didn’t have a translator, but sometimes if I didn’t have a translator and I didn’t have an attorney. 

Andres Mejer :Those are the three most common reasons for PCR. PCR is can be fantastic, but they don’t always work. For example, we have a client who pled guilty to sex abuse of a minor. He was a green card holder. He was picked up by ICE. We review. We are the transcript. We are the discovery. His only shot at staying in the United States. His only shot to stay in United States was try to undo that conviction. And when we review the transcript and the discovery, you know what? We did find a way to reopen it. Not every case has a fundamental mistake. We can overcome. We can’t always undo what was done. 

Andres Mejer :Sometimes we can. Often we can, but not always. Let me give you an example. Let’s say he was found on on camera doing what he shouldn’t have done. I if I can’t get that video thrown out of court or inadmissible supports called suppressed, it’s going to be really hard to win a case where the video shows that you did the crime you’re accused of. So thank you for listening. I’m on this method and I’m at your service. 

Share This Post!

Related Posts

Call Us Today!


New Jersey Immigration Attorney

Need help?

Got questions?

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

We're here 24/7.
Call Now!



Eatontown, NJ


Address

286 RT 35
Unit D
Eatontown, NJ 07724

Map/Directions

Lakewood, NJ


Address

212 2nd Street
Suite 104
Lakewood, NJ 08701

Map/Directions

Newark, NJ


Address

50 Park Place
Suite #1101
Newark, NJ 07102

Map/Directions

Edison, NJ


Address

1929 NJ-27
Edison, NJ 08817

Map/Directions

Bridgewater, NJ


Address

1065 US-22 Suite 2B
Bridgewater Township, NJ 08807

Map/Directions

Freehold, NJ


Address

36 W Main St, Suite 302,
Freehold, NJ 07728

Map/Directions

Copyright 2021 Provencher and Flatt, LLP - All Rights Reserved. Powered by Advantage Attorney Marketing & Cloud Solutions

Find Out Immediately If You Qualify for Legal Status

Subheading

Your privacy is important to us. We will keep the information you provide strictly confidential. We only use your information to determine if you may be eligible for immigration benefits in the United States. The information we provide should not be construed as legal advice and submission of this form does not create an attorney/client relationship.

Ingrese la siguiente información para aceptar los términos y condiciones.

Enter the following information to accept the terms and conditions.

Start Here!

Información Personal / Personal Information

Subheading

Idioma Preferido*

Preferred Language

Fecha Nacimiento*

Date of Birth

Pais de Nacimiento*

Country of Birth

Entradas a las EEUU / Entries into the US

Subheading

Fecha Entrada*

Date of Entry

Entrada Legal*

Did you enter legally?

Background

Subheading

¿Tiene usted padres, conyuge o hijos mayores de 21 anos,Que ha estado o esta en las fuerzas armadas Americanas?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child over 21 who is or was in the US military?

¿Tiene usted padres,conyuge o hijos mayores de 21 anos, ciudadanos Americanos o residentes permanentes?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child over 21 who is a US citizen or lawful permanent resident?

¿Ha tenido usted, sus padres o sus abuelos un estado legal en los EEUU?*

Did you, your parents, or your grandparents ever have legal status in the U.S.?

¿Esta considerando matrimonio con us ciudadano Americano o residente permanente? ( mismo sexo incluido)*

Are you considering marriage to a US citizen or green card holder (same-sex marriage included)?

Background

Subheading

¿Alguien ha peticionado a su favor por motivos de inmigración?*

Has anyone ever filed an immigration petition for you before?

¿Ha sido usted deportado o esta usted en procedimiento de deportación ahora?*

Have you ever been deported or are you in deportation proceedings now?

Ha sido abusado por sus padres, conyuge o hijo mayor de edad?*

Has your parent, spouse, or adult child been abusive to you?

¿Si es asi, fue previo a Abril 30 del 2001?*

If so, was it before April 30, 2001?

Background

Subheading

¿Fue usted, conyuge, sus padres, pareja o sus hijos victimas de de un crimen violento en los EEUU?*

Were you, your parents, siblings, spouse, partner, or children a victim of a violent crime in the US?

¿Es usted menor de 21 años y soltero?*

Are you under 21 and not married?

¿Tiene usted un padre, conyuge o hijo menor de 15 anos con requerimientos especiales médicos (dificultades de estudio, alergias severas, asma u otra condición medica severa)?*

Do you have a parent, spouse, or child under 15 with medical or special needs (learning disability, severe allergies or asthma, or other serious medical condition)?

¿Fue usted maltratado, abusado o abandonado por sus padres?*

Did your parents mistreat, abuse, or abandon you?

Background

Subheading

¿Tenia usted 30 anos o menos en Junio, 15, 2012?*

Were you 30 years or under on June 15, 2012?

¿Tenía usted 15 años o menos en su primera entrada en los EEUU?*

Were you 15 years old or younger on your first entry into the US?

Click below now to see if you qualify!

¡Haga clic abajo ahora para ver si califica!

Free Deportation Risk Assessment

Where you ever caught at by immigration and returned to your country? (¿Dónde alguna vez te pilló inmigrando y regresaste a tu país?)*

Have you ever been arrested for any reason? (¿Alguna vez te han arrestado por alguna razón?)*

How many times have been arrested? (¿Cuántas veces han sido arrestados?)*

Were you arrested for any of the following reasons? (Check all that apply) (¿Te arrestaron por alguna de las siguientes razones?)

Have you ever filed for an immigration benefit and been denied? (¿Alguna vez ha presentado un beneficio de inmigración y se le ha negado?)*

Have you entered the US illegally more than once after 1997? (¿Ha entrado ilegalmente en los Estados Unidos más de una vez después de 1997?)*

Do you owe back child support? (¿Debes manutención infantil?)*

New Jersey Immigration Attorney

Get Instant Access

Enter your name and email address below to get instant access.

New Jersey Immigration Attorney


¡Obtenga acceso instantáneo ahora!

Ingrese su nombre y dirección de correo electrónico a continuación

Immigration Attorney

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Immigration Book

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Arrested in New Jersey

Request Your Free Copy

Solicite su copia gratuita

Immigration Attorney

Ask an Immigration Attorney

Ask a question or tell us about your situation, we are happy to help!