Defense to a charge of falsely claiming to be a U.S. Citizen | Immigration Attorney | Eatontown NJ

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Is there a defense to a charge of falsely claiming to be a U.S. Citizen?

Under certain circumstances, there are.  But you must first collect all documents regarding the criminal incident.  Contact the police department who arrested you and all request all records of the incident.  Second, contact the court that heard your case and request a disposition and a transcript of any trial or hearing before the Judge.  Any immigration attorney will need to understand exactly what the outcome was, and what was said before the Judge.In case the result is damning for immigration reasons, you might consider the possibility of filing a Post-Conviction Relief application.  That is re-opening the matter, but this becomes increasingly harder the longer time has passed since the incident.  For example, in New Jersey, after five years you must show exceptional circumstances to avoid an injustice in order to reopen a matter.

If Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ever charges you with falsely claiming to be a U.S. citizen in order to achieve an immigration benefit, here are three possible defenses:

  1. In order to be inadmissible to the United States (generally meaning you can’t get legal status) you have to have “knowingly” made a false claim.  If you didn’t know your claim was false, you can’t be found inadmissible.  It is your burden to prove that you did not know.
  2. If you were under 18 when you made the claim and couldn’t understand the claim, you may have a defense.  Again, it is your burden to prove this defense.
  3. To be inadmissible, you must have made a false claim of U.S. citizenship to “get an immigration benefit.”  If crime for which you were charged was not to get an immigration benefit, you have a defense.  Again, it is your burden to prove this defense.

If you ever made a false claim to citizenship, request a personal consultation with a qualified immigration attorney before you apply for any immigration benefit.

If you have questions you can:

  1. Call our knowledgeable staff at 888-695-6169;
  2. Fill out our contact us form on this page; or
  3. Select our live chat feature to speak to someone right away.

We help immigrants, one petition at a time.

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