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marijuana charge while on TN visa

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  • marijuana charge while on TN visa

    I am a Candian citizen who has been working in the US on TN visas since approximately 11/95. I have an American girlfriend of over 3 years and a US citizen son who is just over 2 years old.

    Recently I was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent (3 small marijuana plants) while in the United States. I was charged with intent because they count each plant as 1 lb even though the cops said there was no evidence of selling etc. It was reduced to simple possession of a controlled substance. I was placed on the diversion program (11.29 probation), since it was my first offence of any kind anywhere, it will be expunged in 06/03.

    I am now out of status on my TN visa since I am no longer working but was told by my probation officer that I could not leave the county plus if I would have left I would have missed my court date and faced more charges. 2 days ago I was cleared to leave the country if I needed to.

    I am looking to either make it possible to continue working on TN visas by way of a waiver or to marry my girlfriend (which we planned on doing someday anyways) and continue working. I would like to do whatever will give me the best chance of success and another consideration would be how quickly I could get back to work and whether or not I would need to leave my son and girlfriend.

    Any advice on what to do?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    jj

  • #2
    I am a Candian citizen who has been working in the US on TN visas since approximately 11/95. I have an American girlfriend of over 3 years and a US citizen son who is just over 2 years old.

    Recently I was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent (3 small marijuana plants) while in the United States. I was charged with intent because they count each plant as 1 lb even though the cops said there was no evidence of selling etc. It was reduced to simple possession of a controlled substance. I was placed on the diversion program (11.29 probation), since it was my first offence of any kind anywhere, it will be expunged in 06/03.

    I am now out of status on my TN visa since I am no longer working but was told by my probation officer that I could not leave the county plus if I would have left I would have missed my court date and faced more charges. 2 days ago I was cleared to leave the country if I needed to.

    I am looking to either make it possible to continue working on TN visas by way of a waiver or to marry my girlfriend (which we planned on doing someday anyways) and continue working. I would like to do whatever will give me the best chance of success and another consideration would be how quickly I could get back to work and whether or not I would need to leave my son and girlfriend.

    Any advice on what to do?

    Any help is much appreciated.

    jj

    Comment


    • #3
      Dear JJ -

      You're definitely facing some problems. Clearly, you are now deportable as an overstay and/or for a violation of your nonimmigrant status. INS really won't care that a probation officer told you not to leave until cleared. You may also be deportable for your controlled substance conviction (federal first offender may come into play but I'm rusty on that). You're definitely inadmissible once you step out of the US and try to come in without a waiver. In terms of your future, you really should consult an experienced immigration attorney (over the phone or in person)to go over your entire immigration history and evaluate a possible long-term strategy for you. It all depends on your criminal conviction.
      Good luck with your problem - rrv

      Rolando Rex Velasquez
      SEROTTE, REICH & SEIPP, LLP
      716-854-7525
      716-854-0294 fax
      e/m: rvelasquez@srs-law.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for your reply rrv. I am in the process of setting up a consultation with a good immigration attorney. I am hoping that I am eligible under the exception for first offence marijuana possesion since the max sentence is not more than a year and I did not serve more than 6 months.

        The only question I have is whether or not I am eligible since I was originally charged with possession with intent to distribute. This was done even though the cops said it definitely wasn't the case. Each plant is considered 1 lb so therefore I technically am said to have 3lbs even though there really wasn't any here. In my state anything over 1/2 oz they have to charge with poss. with intent. This might cause me problems with the over 30 grams limitation and also because of the max sentence of the original charge.

        jj

        Comment


        • #5
          jj, you are probably okay. Continue the good work.

          Comment


          • #6
            Another thing: why don't your girlfriend file for you to become a PR, given the fact that she is an USC? In fact, you could have legally married even before the criminal charge came, and I am assuming that there is something serious between you given the fact that you have a child. Good Luck, and don't sweat it too much - it's not worth it, believe me

            Comment


            • #7
              30 grams... Anything more will not fly with the INS and will even get a GC holder deported!

              Comment


              • #8
                Do not travel outside the U.S., otherwise you may find difficult to re-enter the U.S. And yes, get your wife to sponsor you for PR. The crime that you pled guilty to is not that bad, it probably won't make you deportable.

                Comment


                • #9
                  take Mr. Rolando Rex Velasquez's advise and stick with it, perhaps even hire him. I consulted him and he's very attentive and informative (!!!)

                  Two violations/crimes have very harsh punishments in regard to immigration and it doens't matter if they're "minor", "misdemeanor", or "whateva's":
                  those are:
                  1. drug violations
                  2. firearms violations!

                  It doesn't matter if you were living here for the past 30+ years since your were adopted as a 2 month old or arrived yesterday on a plane, as long as you're not a citizen, you remain a third class "citizen"....

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It really ires me to read the messages posted on this board which constantly refer to "minor" crimes, as though some crimes are simply okay, as though they don't deserve a second thought, and as though they can even be repeated as long as they're not "too bad."

                    This kind of attitude toward crime is at odds with how everyday Americans think and with how they view another's trustworthiness. The words "moral turpitude" weren't included in our immigration language for no reason and until you and your shameful immigration attorneys realize that, you'll never have the support of law-abiding citizens.

                    "Law-abiding" means that every law is consciously respected, not just a select few.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Blah, blah, blah...Do not think a minor crime like simple possession of marihuana is that bad as to make you deportable - do NOT believe lawyers who want your money and do NOTHING...I know all these, because I've talked to many of them about different immigration problems and they just promise a lot and do NOTHING. Also do not believe them when they say to you that because you are not a green card holder things may get very messy for you - they will say the same thing to you even if you have a green card, supposedly because even permanent residents (green card holders) can get deported. These people just want your money and are willing to say thousands and thousands of lies to confuse you, to alarm you, to frighten you, so that you lose your mind and gice 'em the money - and then, say to you that they saved you from the INS - BULLSHIT! You can just as well handle your immigration (and criminal problems for that matter without any criminal defense attorney whatsoever) by yourself, if you are not that well-versed in paperwork, go to VOLAGs (Voluntary Resettlement Agencies ) and they will help you free of charge.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ali.baba...blah, blah, blah...don't forget that it's lawyers job to even "lie" sometimes...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          advise, do you think sex offenses aren't as bad as drugs and firearms? and what about theft?...every crime is really really bad for them

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            but this particular drug crime is not that bad as the other ones, though

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              There are some pretty interesting strategies that can be used in order to prevent "convictions" for immigration purposes in drug cases. I can send you a link if you are interested.

                              Comment



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