Can I Get a Green Card If Arrested for Drugs | NJ Immigration Lawyer

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Can I Get a Green Card If I’ve Been Arrested for Drugs?

NJ immigration lawyerIf you are not a U.S. citizen and have a conviction for a controlled dangerous substance, your NJ immigration lawyer can tell you that will be deported even if you are a lawful permanent resident, with few exceptions.

Immigration Consequences of Drug Conviction

Drug offenses have some of the most serious and unforgiving immigration consequences, including:

  • deportation,
  • mandatory detention,
  • ineligibility to get lawful residency,
  • loss of asylum or ability to get asylum, and
  • temporary or permanent bar to citizenship, and
  • severe federal sentences if you illegal reenter

What the Government Must Prove to Deport You for a Drug Offense

In order to be deportable (removable) the government must prove each of the elements found at 8 USC 1227(a)(2)(B)(i)

  • You are not a U.S. citizen,
  • After admission to the U.S,
  • You were convicted of
  • a violation of (or conspiracy or attempt to violate) a law, 
  • Relating to controlled substance as defined in 21 USC § 802.  Defined controlled substance as “a drug or other Defending Immigrants Partnership 2012 substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V” of the federal Controlled Substances Act.

Exceptions to Deportation for a Drug Charge

Here are some exceptions to your deportability:

  • Your conviction is a controlled dangerous substance in the State you were convicted, but not on the federal level,
  • Your conviction is for a single offense of possession of marijuana + for personal use + 30 grams or less of marijuana (in NJ the statute says 50 grams or less so you have to be careful), or
  • Your conviction was due to a plea before April 1, 1997.

Keep in mind that a conviction for conspiracy, attempt, or paraphernalia relating to a controlled dangerous substance are all “related” to the substance and will result in your deportation.

If you are facing a drug charge and aren’t a U.S. citizen you must consult with an experienced immigration attorney before you plead guilty or are found guilty.  If you have already been convicted of the offense you must consider a Post Conviction Relief motion to change the outcome.  Otherwise, it is solely a matter of time before you are deported or removed from the U.S.

Free Resources for You

If you are charged with a Crime, DUI, or Traffic offense you need to know your options before going to court.  On this page you will see an offer for my books, click the link, put your name and contact information and we will give you these books free:

  1. Arrested for Drunk Driving?  Learn How to Beat the Odds – Here I discuss defense strategies, and common mistakes I see other attorneys make in defending these complicated cases.  I also list for your question you should ask any attorney that you interview for your defense.
  2. Why Pleading Guilty to Your New Jersey Traffic Ticket Is NOT an Option – Here I discuss court process and violations, including DUI’s.  There lots of case examples here.
  3. An Immigrant’s Guide to Municipal Court.  This discusses specifically what you will encounter in Municipal Court if you aren’t a U.S. citizen and how it can result in removal proceedings in Immigration Court.  I define important terms and guide you through the Municipal Court and Immigration Court process.
  4. Do You Qualify for Legal Status?  If you aren’t legal in the U.S. you owe it to yourself to find out if you can get legal status.  Select the link, answer the questions, and find out for FREE.

What to Do Now: Contact a NJ Immigration Lawyer

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

We help defendants, one court client at a time.

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