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How Do Criminal Charges Affect My Immigration Status in New York? 2024

How Do Criminal Charges Affect My Immigration Status in New York? 2024

New York is a state made up of and defined by immigrants. The state has a rich history of immigration, which contributes to its bustling economy and vibrant culture. Unfortunately, many immigrants who are noncitizens can face serious repercussions when they are charged with a criminal offense, even when it’s minor. No matter what your situation may be, necessitating representation from a New York criminal lawyer is critical.

Whether you are a lawful permanent resident who is interested in pursuing citizenship or you’re working in New York on a nonimmigrant visa, you need to know your rights and the impact that criminal charges could have on your immigration status. In order to better understand how criminal charges can affect someone’s immigration case or ability to pursue a certain status, the legal team at the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, has constructed this blog.

What New York Criminal Charges Will Affect My Immigration Status?

It is important to note that both non-criminal and criminal charges can impact a person’s immigration status in New York. The more serious a crime is, the larger its impact will be. For example, crimes of moral turpitude and aggravated felonies both carry severe consequences for immigrants.

Aggravated felonies are not the same as violent felonies, though a violent felony may be aggravated under certain circumstances. According to immigration law, an aggravated felony is subject to interpretation based on the case in question. For a charge to be aggravated, there must be certain factors present that make the case more dangerous or severe. For example, robbing someone with a weapon is an aggravated charge because using a weapon is an additional crime.

How Do Criminal Charges Affect My Immigration Status in New York?

Common crimes that can affect your immigration status include:

  • -Violent Crimes. Crimes involving physical harm can range from simple battery to murder.
  • -Trafficking Crimes. Aggravated felonies can involve trafficking crimes, such as the trafficking of incendiary devices, weapons, or drugs.
  • -Theft Crimes. When it comes to immigration penalties, serious theft crimes ranging from burglary to tax fraud can have long-term negative impacts.
  • -Failure to Appear in Court. Individuals who have received a court summons or notice of hearing who do not show up can face serious immigration consequences.

Crimes of Moral Turpitude

When it comes to federal immigration law, “crimes of moral turpitude” is another key classification that can have important implications on one’s immigration status. This classification is more objective and up to interpretation based on the case and location in which the crime was committed. This is because it addresses breaking conventions of the moral standards of a certain community.

Crimes of moral turpitude can include perjury, wire fraud, child and domestic abuse, tax evasion, and concealed unauthorized carry. Both crimes are crimes of moral turpitude, and aggravated felonies can result in an individual losing their immigration status, being deported, or being barred from pursuing certain immigration opportunities.

Overall, the impact of a certain crime on your immigration status will vary depending on your charges, your immigration status type, and the jurisdiction in which the crime was committed. A New York Criminal Lawyer can help you understand what your options are in terms of fighting your charges and help strategize so that you can work towards protecting your immigration status.


Q: How Can a Felony Impact My Immigration Status in New York?

A: If you are a noncitizen of the United States living in New York, then getting arrested and fingerprinted alone can put you at risk of being deported, even after bail is set. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can be notified of your unlawful or lawful presence in the country and may request to detain you. If you are convicted of a felony, then this can cause you to lose a certain immigration status or lose access to the opportunity to update or change it.

Q: Can You Obtain Citizenship with a Criminal Record?

A: If you are a lawful permanent resident of the United States who is looking to go through naturalization, you may not be eligible if you have been convicted of a crime, even a minor crime, within the three to five years period before submitting your application. In some cases, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can decide to look back further than this time period to determine whether you are a person of “good moral character.”

Q: What Crimes Make You No Longer Eligible for Immigration Benefits?

A: The specific crimes that can make a person ineligible for certain immigration benefits depend on the general circumstances of the immigration case. It’s important to note that not only misdemeanors and felonies can lead to immigration issues, but also minor violations. Such minor crimes that could have long-term consequences include possession of marijuana, shoplifting, and riding public transport without a proper ticket.

Q: Can I Lose My Green Card After Being Charged with a Felony?

A: If convicted of a felony, a person can endanger their immigration status as a lawful permanent resident. A green card must be renewed before the ten-year period in which it expires, and in order to do so, a background check is run on the applicant. If a felony appears on the record, the applicant will likely not be granted a renewal. They can also lose the opportunity to be eligible for US citizenship. Talk to a New York criminal lawyer to figure out your next steps.

Work With an Experienced New York Criminal Lawyer Who Will Fight for You

If you are a noncitizen residing in the United States who is facing criminal charges, then it is critical to get fierce representation from a New York criminal lawyer from PLLC Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC. Our team can work to protect your criminal record and your immigration status while supporting you through complex legal trials along the way.

If you are a New York immigrant who has recently been convicted of a crime, then our legal team can help you pursue alternative options, such as working towards an appeal or expungement. Contact our offices today to protect your New York immigration status.

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