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Domestic Violence and Citizenship

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by fizk, Aug 22, 2005.

  1. fizk

    fizk Registered Users (C)

    I was charged with Domestic Violence last week (Assault & Battery - Domestic). Trial date is set on October and I've a lawyer. Even if my wife wanted to dismiss the case, the state wont and the District Attornys office made it clear that they will find a way to prosecute me. My green card expires on 10/15/2012. If court find me guilty, will it affect my citizenship? Will I be deported? Can I renew my green card? When can I apply for citizenship?

    If they find me not guilty, how does it affect my citizenship?

    Please respond, we are having sleeples nights.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2005
  2. Vmlnj

    Vmlnj Registered Users (C)

    in most cases if it is your first offence you can get a conditional dismissal. Anyway make sure your attorney understand consequences of your sentence for immigration purposes.
    Here is some reading for you.

    The grounds of deportability apply to any noncitizen who was lawfully admitted to the United States, including refugees, or to any noncitizen who is a lawful permanent resident (greencard holder). These grounds apply to this group of noncitizens when the INS initiates deportation/removal proceedings against them (under INA Sec. 240, 8 U.S.C. 1229a) because of their criminal conduct. The INS will file what is called a Notice to Appear with the Immigration Court charging the noncitizen with deportability pursuant to one of the following grounds.

    The criminal grounds of deportability are listed in the immigration statute at I.N.A. Sec. 237, 8 U.S.C. 1227: Sec. 237(a)(2)(A)(I) conviction for one crime involving moral turpitude (CMT), committed within 5 years of admission to U.S., for which sentence of one year or longer may be imposed;
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(A)(ii) convictions for two or more CMTs, not arising out of single scheme of criminal conduct, regardless of sentence;
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(iii) conviction for an aggravated felony (see next section, infra);
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(B)(I) conviction of a violation of any law relating to a controlled substance (exception for single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana);
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(C) conviction under any law of purchasing, selling, using, or possessing (or any attempt to purchase, sell, use or possess) a firearm or destructive device;
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(D) miscellaneous crimes (espionage, sabotage);
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(E)(I) conviction of a crime of domestic violence (as defined a 18 U.S.C. 16), stalking, child abuse, child neglect, child abandonment regardless of the length of sentence (Note: This provision applies to all DV convictions entered after September 30, 1996);
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(E)(ii) judicial determination of a violation of protection order involving protection against credible threats of violence, repeated harassment, or bodily injury (Note: This provision applies to all such convictions entered after September 30, 1996);
    Sec. 237(a)(3)(B) conviction for violation of the alien registration requirements, or for fraud relating to the misuse or visas and other immigration documents.

    Also relevant are certain grounds of deportation for criminal conduct, even if there is no conviction:
    Sec. 237(a)(2)(B)(ii) drug abuse or drug addiction;
    Sec. 237(a)(1)(E) smuggling aliens into the U.S.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 23, 2005
  3. stallion4949

    stallion4949 Registered Users (C)

    Don't plead guilty to this charge. Go to trial if u have too. State's attorneys always talk like that. Its crap. If the victim will not cooperate they don't have much of a case. They can try and put it on, but good luck to them. They may try to strong arm or threaten the alleged victim into cooperating but those are pretty empty threats.
  4. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator


    First off, a LPR is a status accorded to someone under the law, while a plastic green card is just a PROOF of that status only. Thereby, the expiration date mentioned on a plastic green card means nothing. It's just a date when the plastic card would expire, but not the Permanent Resident Status of a person. That means- a person would still remain to be a Permanent Resident even if a plastic green card expires. A permanent Resident Status NEVER expires unless it's abandoned or if someone would violate the terms of it, such as staying abroad continuously a year or more, committing a crime, etc...

    Secondly, as I already said that a person will DEFINATELY loose his/her Permanent Residency Status if the terms of Permanent Residency Status are violated in any fashion. So obviously, it doesn't matter when a plastic green card is going to expire, in your case- in the year of 2012.

    Thirdly, by reading your post, it's seemed to ME that you are more concerned about your citizenship application in the context of your pending criminal charge of Domestic Violence than saving your Permanent Residency Status first. Then let me tell you something very clear and loud. I don't give the damn what other immigration attorneys might have said to you about your said situation, but as far as JohnnyCash is concerned then even God would not be able to save you from deportation IF you would get convicted for this crime. Because, it is domestic violence charge, and a conviction on this crime would automatically render you for deportation under INA Section 237 (E). So, don't even talk about useless questions, such as-how it is going to effect your citizenship application, or when you can be able to apply (or might be reapply) citizenship application if you get convicted on this, or whether or not you will be able to renew your green card, etc... . Because, there would be a DEFINATE deportation for you if you would get convicted on this. Sometimes USCIS find out about the conviction thru other ways right after the trial, but other times they find out when someone files an application with them, like citizenship application.

    That's why, it is VERY-VERY-VERY important that you MUST not get convicted on this at any cost, even under plea bargain or lesser sentencing. As mostly criminal attorneys try to scare people to get agree on plea bargain or something like that, so that they don't have to spend more time on a case. Hence, you need to make sure your criminal attorney knows that you would be thrown away from this country if you ever get convicted on this pending criminal charge. Therefore, even a plea bargain or getting lesser sentencing won't do any good to you.

    However, if your wife is willing to drop the criminal charge or won't cooperate the prosecutor during the trial on this charge, then State will most probably loose the case (98%) against you. But, don't forget that there is still a 2% chances out there for you to get convicted by Grand Jury without her cooperation with District Attorney. But, it occurs very rarely, almost never.

    About DA's office telling you that they will still prosecute you even if your wife won't cooperate with them, then it is just a empty threat that they are making in the hope/anticipation that you MIGHT end up agreeing to a plea bargain deal with them before the trial starts, so that they could have a conviction on you to establish a statistic record for their sake on how many cases they have prosecuted in a given year. Sometimes, they also do this to establish a precedent/example to others. But, you should not be scared and should have "killer instinct" so that you can give EVERYTHING you have to defend yourself, especially when your life in this country depends on this case.

    At last, it would be better for you not to spend your time/energy/efforts in asking any further question about immigration matter, at least at this stage, until your criminal case gets dismissed first. Because if you get convicted on this charge then it would be useless to ask all those immigration questions as you will definitely be thrown out from this country.

    Good luck.
  5. fizk

    fizk Registered Users (C)

    Thank you for the replies. Yes, this is my first offense in this country, I've been here almost 10 years. I didn't know about deportation, now I'm worried.
    We will do our best to not get convicted, but if I do, is there any way I can protect myself from deportation?
  6. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator

    "this is my first offense in this country"

    So what? Whether this is your first offense or million ones, it doesn't make a difference as far as deportation (or USCIS) is concerned. Because if an alien is EVER convicted for a crime that would make him/her deported, then such alien CANNOT be saved from being deported even if s/he is convicted for only one crime in his/her lifetime. However, it does matter as far as sentencing on a crime is concerned. Yet still, this has to do with a criminal court, and not with USCIS. Because if someone doesn't have any prior criminal history then criminal court's judges don't give harsh sentencing in most cases; instead they could give either a shorter jail time, or a community service or probation only. But again, it has nothing to do with USCIS/deportation as USCIS will definitely deport you regardless of this is your first offense if this offense falls in the category of crimes that make aliens deportable. Immigration laws are very clear on this.

    "I've been here almost 10 years"

    So what? Whether you have been living in this country for 10 yrs or 100 yrs, it doesn't make a difference to USCIS when it comes to carrying out immigration laws. And, immigration laws say very clearly that if an alien is convicted for a deportable crime AFTER being a LPR, then there is nothing could stop him/her being deported. Read carefully-Nothing can stop deportation for LPRs if they get convicted for a deportable crime, even if they might have US born children or USC spouse or if they have been living in this country for 100 yrs, or if they have committed a crime only first time in their life. So obviously, how long you have been living here, doesn't matter once an alien is a LPR. However, it DOES matter if you were not a LPR. Because if an illegal alien is ever placed on deportation proceeding in front of Immigration Judge, then s/he MAY have a chance to ask Judge to cancel the deportation if s/he has been living in this country for 10 yrs at least, even if s/he has been living here illegally. But be noted: alien would need something more than just 10 yrs' presence in this country to avoid deportation, such as- alien would need to prove that if s/he is deported then s/he would face extreme hardship in many sense. And, judge will review other favorable factors too. Nevertheless, don't forget that we are here discussing an immigration consequence in context of criminality. And if an alien, whether legal or illegal, gets convicted for a deportable crime, then it doesn't matter how long s/he has been living in this country.

    "is there any way I can protect myself from deportation?"

    Apparently, you haven't read my earlier posting wherein I said very clearly and loudly that even God cannot save you from deportation IF you would get convicted on this crime. So, the only thing you can do to save you is-make sure not to get convicted. That is. There is no buts, ifs, could, should, would...
  7. Francis_USA

    Francis_USA Registered Users (C)

    Endanger the life of a Child

    Hi Everyone,

    Recently my wife is charged of endangering life of child by leaving two children at home whle she went out to purchase medicine for them.

    She has GC for 4 years. Her case is in the court now.

    Will she be subjected to deportation if convicted?

    Johnnycash, Can you please help?

    Thank you very much!

  8. stallion4949

    stallion4949 Registered Users (C)

    If the charge is a misdemeanor whereby by law the maximum penalty is no longer than 364 days, she is not deportable. Generally to be a deportable offense it must be punishable by a year or more. What one actually receives as a sentence is not determinative.
  9. Francis_USA

    Francis_USA Registered Users (C)

    Endanger the life of child

    According to:

    Sec. 237(a)(2)(E)(I) conviction of a crime of domestic violence (as defined a 18 U.S.C. 16), stalking, child abuse, child neglect, child abandonment regardless of the length of sentence (Note: This provision applies to all DV convictions entered after September 30, 1996);

    My wife's case can be treated as child neglect. That makes me really worried about it. I just can not imagine that two children (2 and 4 yrs) will be motherless because their mother left them alone at home for 45 minutes while they were slept to purchase medicine for them. I will do anything possible to prevent her removal.

    The case is still in court. My attorney (Criminal law) wants to do plea bargain. I told him the immigration consequences. He is not so sure how to proceed.

    Can someone shed some lights?

    Thank you!
  10. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator


    Lot of folks don't know that under immigration laws- an alien could still be deported after being convicted of certain crimes even if there won't be a jail time or would be a jail time less than a year. And, a conviction on Domestic violence crimes falls under those deportable crimes, unfortunately. These laws used to be a bit flexible earlier, but they became so tough being having 'zero tolerance' policy when former President-Bill Clinton signed them into a law in December of 2000.

    Having said that, I don't have a good news for you, especially you already know now that she would be deported for good and would also be banned to come to USA next time if she will be convicted on this as it is case of Child Neglect and Child Abandonment as far as USCIS is concerned under section 237 (E).

    It is such a pity and a grave tragic situation that two children would be left without mother for good just because their mother left them for few minutes to buy medicine for them. What kind of laws these are? I'm REALLY sorry and I do feel the pain. I wish I could do something for you guys except suggesting you to ask your wife's criminal lawyer to contact DA's office and request them to have some kind of pre-deal in order to drop the charges by letting them know that children would be motherless if she ever gets convicted on this. Though I know that chances of success on this are very slim, but you still have shot to save your wife and mother of your two beautiful children. That's one of the reason why it is so important to be a US citizen. But I do understand why you guys could not apply for citizenship yet.

    As you said that you are willing to do anything to keep your wife here for the sake of your family then you should try to hire very good criminal attorney. And unfortunately if she still gets convicted then she should appeal her conviction up to Supreme Court. Further, there is a law firm in San Francisco, which is specialized only in criminal cases with immigration consequences, but those lawyers are VERY expensive as they might easily charge you at least $10K-$20K. They could even challenge the conviction on even little-little ground to throw your wife's case away, or can drag the case for many years during appealing with higher courts. But I just want you to know that during the appealing process, you wife would not be free after being convicted, instead she would remain detained by USCIS after serving her jail time as Supreme Court made such ruling last year.

    Good luck and May God help your wife.
  11. Francis_USA

    Francis_USA Registered Users (C)

    Thank you! Johnny.

    Can she be released on bond if she is detaiend by USCIS during long appeal?
  12. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator

    No. Supreme Court has changed everything on this last year in May. Now, alien must remain detained during the appeal process, no matter how long appeal would take. Appeal takes years.
  13. JohnnyCash

    JohnnyCash Volunteer Moderator


    I’m responding to your PM over here.

    “IF the charge is dropped for some kind of the deals. Does it mean still guilty in terms of USCIS?”

    If the criminal charge is dropped for whatever reason, then it means-there is nothing to worry about it as it never be considered as ‘found guilty’. And remember also: Only conviction on a crime would make an alien deportable, and not the criminal charge in itself.

    “What kind of the pre-deal can be used to drop the charge? Can you please make some examples?”

    Taking parenting classes and workshops, Counseling with social worker, and willingness to do community service will definitely break the ice with DA in order to make a pre-deal. In this situation, they might drop the charge after the completion of this sort of things, especially given the nature of circumstances surrounds your wife’s case. That means-there won’t be anything on the record to worry about it.

    “What kind of the langguage should be used in the deal?”

    As you have an attorney on your case, then obviously he knows what kind of language will be used in order to make such a deal. Besides, attorneys do make deal with them all the times. Further, most of times DAs do prefer to solve the case without a trial; otherwise they know that they would be ended up wasting their resources on patty cases than on serious ones. That’s why; they are more willing to rest a case without a trial, unless it is a high profile case.

    That’s why it is VERY important to have right attorney on your wife’s case. Just because you already have attorney, doesn’t mean that you cannot hire another one if he can do something good for you.

    There is something I want you to know as well. I’m sure that your wife won’t get any jail time for this crime after being convicted if she never has any prior criminal history and because of the nature of circumstances surrounding her situation. She might end up doing some community service or will put on probation, at most. That means-there is still a possibility that USCIS might not know about her conviction in order to detain her unless she would file an application with them, like citizenship application. Therefore, you may try to seal her record right away thru attorney after the conviction. This way, nobody ever knows about her conviction, even FBI. And then, she should never file for citizenship and stay clean for the rest of her life. This could be one of the option for her to live here without coming in the radar with USCIS if they would not know about her conviction before it’s sealed.

    Hope, it helps.
  14. jenny200506

    jenny200506 Registered Users (C)

    Expunge Criminal Record
  15. jenny200506

    jenny200506 Registered Users (C)

    Expunge Criminal Record

    Sorry I hit a wrong button earlier and sent an empty message.

    I was charged by police for filing a false police report earlier. After the court hearing, the case was dismissed. The detail of this case was under another thread.

    Right now, the criminal lawyer is offering the service to expunge the record. I am just wondering whether this will help me for the CZ application since I have to discose the information anyway. Since the case was dismissed, the record to be expunged is the arrest record although I was not arrested and no fingerprint was taken.

    Please share your thoughts.
  16. lacoste

    lacoste Registered Users (C)

    sstop to worry

    the situation is already there be strong and keep your head up steack with your wife find you a good lawyer you are going to wine that case it all about money man!! if you got money find your self a verry good lawyer who knows criminal and immigration laws you didt'n kille no body you can get way from that if your wife's helps you . LAST THING DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT THAT GUY TOLD YOU "EVEN god WILL NOT BE ABLE TO HELP YOU FROM DEPORTATION" WRONG AND VERY WRONG IF IS god IS A FAKE ONE TRAY MY GOD THE MASTER OF TIME AND CURCOMSTANCE THAT MY GOD THE CREATOR OF ALL KIND AND OF US AND ANY COUNTRY AND HE MADE YOU AND ANY BODY EVEN BUSH SO PUT YOU FAITH TO GOD BECAUSE WHAT GOD SAI NO BODY CAN'T CHANGE IT OK GOD BLESS AND BE STRONG LEAVE YOUR LIFE AND LET GOD TAKER YOUR BUSNESS THAT IS JOB AND BELIEVE ME HE ALWAYS WIN ALL THE TIME THAT WHY IS GOD IF HE CAN GIVE'S YOU LIFE FOR FREE HE CAN GIVE'S YOU ANY THING YOU WANT OK BUDDY
  17. movibe

    movibe New Member

    Lacoste, I think the 'God' comment was a figure of speech. My guess, almost everbody understood that without problem. With all the respect for people of faith, but religion may not be your best advocate in this case. If Fitzk is religious too, he would have said his prayers already before he sought for help in the forum, and if he is not - then I don't think he will jump on the wagon right now. Your first advice, before you got stuck on the CapsLock key, was -of course- better and most likely obvious to Fitzk anyway.

    Jenny, I think wiping your record out may be good for many things, but I am rather certain that you are best adviced not to try to omit this in your N-400. The USCIS has access to your records in some ways. You are also asked if you ever were arrested, detained, cited and so on .... then you are asked what the outcome was. So even if you were arrested once by mistake, you are expected to mention it.
    Probably, because this is about judging your character, it is helpful to write an explanation with it that expresses your sincere regret and indicates to the officer that (and how) you have changed since then.

  18. ma21

    ma21 Registered Users (C)

    Hi JohnnyCash, thanks for the very detailed information that you provide. I have never had a chance to use that (and hope I never have too :) ). However, I was reading the following link http://www.shusterman.com/deport.html. Can you eleborate and explain why such a thing would not apply to these cases
  19. max2k1

    max2k1 Registered Users (C)

    Since the case was dismissed, this record is not going to affect your application in any negative way.

    So why bother ?
  20. max2k1

    max2k1 Registered Users (C)

    List of things to do:

    (1) Learn to spell.
    (2) Learn punctuation and grammar.
    (3) Learn about online posting etiquette.

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