Immigration Consequences of an NJ Criminal Charge


If you are not a citizen of the United States, and you are arrested and charged with a criminal offense in New Jersey, you may be facing profound and potentially life-altering immigration consequences. This is a complicated area of law that is constantly developing as new state and federal court decisions and regulations are issued. You should recognize that even facing a comparatively minor disorderly persons offense like shoplifting or simple assault, can jeopardize your immigration status and increase your risk of deportation. These consequences can change your life and your family’s life forever. Given the severity of these consequences, the importance of retaining an attorney who understands both criminal law and its potential impact on immigration law cannot be overstated. If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable attorney now, contact our Ocean County criminal defense firm at (848) 238-2100. We provide free consultations and a member of our team is available immediately to assist you.

Can an NJ Criminal Charge Affect Immigration Status?

If you are arrested for, or convicted of, a criminal offense in New Jersey and you are not a current U.S. citizen, that criminal arrest or conviction may render your removable or ineligible for re-entry into the United States. Enforcement of these immigration rules has been stepped up dramatically in the past few years. Additional efforts have been made prioritizing the enforcement of immigration laws and removal of non-citizens who have been convicted of a criminal offense, charged with a crime, or who otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security. In other words, now more than ever, a criminal charge can jeopardize your immigration status.

In New Jersey, a criminal charge can result in deportation, denial of citizenship, losing your green card status, losing your work visa, losing you student visa, and a number of other potential consequences. Additionally, if you are convicted of certain offenses, you may face mandatory deportation, bars to hardship waivers or asylum, immigration detention, a removal order, a bar to lawful return to the United States following deportation, heightened penalties for illegal reentry into the United States, and an extended (or even permanent) bar to U.S. citizenship.

The consequences associated with arrest, a criminal charge, or a criminal conviction can be even worse for you if you are facing charges for a “crime of moral turpitude.” These crimes often involve theft and fraudassault and threatslewdness and sex crimes, and domestic violence, among a number of other categories. Determining whether you have been charged with a crime of moral turpitude can be complicated, and you should consult an attorney who can assess the specific facts of your case to determine whether your charges fall into this category.

Non-citizen Charged With an Offense in Ocean County, NJ?

If you have been arrested and charged with a crime such as aggravated assaultunlawful possession of a weaponaggravated sexual assault, or theft of movable property in Ocean County, New Jersey, we can help. You may be worried about whether your criminal charge will have adverse immigration consequences and if there is a way to fight the charges in court. No general information can properly or fully advise you of the immigration consequences that may be associated with a conviction in your particular case, which is why it is imperative to get dedicated legal counsel. To consult with an attorney experienced in both criminal defense and its relative impact on immigration status in New Jersey, call (848) 238-2100 now.

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.