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Thread: Arrested for domestic battery - immigration implication

  1. #1
    Hi,

    I am in a bit of bind here, so knowledgeable folks please lend a hand.

    I am a Canadian citizen with US green card and my N400 is pending. Recently an argument with my spouse got out of hand. Long story short, I was arrested and charged with domestic battery. My lawyer indicated he might be able to get it down to simple battery charge. My court date is coming up in a few weeks. Now my questions are as follows:

    1. If I leave US (with court permission), is it likely that I would run into problem reentering US? In other words, would my "arrest record" (no conviction) be visible to border agents at airport or land crossings?

    2. What is the implication of a conviction on "simple" battery on my US citizenship application?

    Thanks
    David

  2. #2
    Hi,

    I am in a bit of bind here, so knowledgeable folks please lend a hand.

    I am a Canadian citizen with US green card and my N400 is pending. Recently an argument with my spouse got out of hand. Long story short, I was arrested and charged with domestic battery. My lawyer indicated he might be able to get it down to simple battery charge. My court date is coming up in a few weeks. Now my questions are as follows:

    1. If I leave US (with court permission), is it likely that I would run into problem reentering US? In other words, would my "arrest record" (no conviction) be visible to border agents at airport or land crossings?

    2. What is the implication of a conviction on "simple" battery on my US citizenship application?

    Thanks
    David

  3. #3

  4. #4
    you guys are getting awfully judgemental here without knowing the specifics about my case. In fact my wife hit me first. My concern is the impact on our 3 kids who were born here. I am the only one working in the family. It is going to be rough on the kids if things get out of hand.

    If you have nothing good to say, I suggest you say nothing.

    David

  5. #5
    until you know the charge is just simple not domestic, and you have the conviction record you can leave, but ur citizenship app, I think will be denied for discretion, then apply again in 5 yrs.

  6. #6
    Hello, Ottawa,

    Make sure the attorney you're dealing with on the criminal matter is also familiar with immigration law...if he's not, I'd go ahead and consult an immigration attorney, too, just to make sure the proposed plea deal doesn't kick you down the road. Too many immigration problems result where someone retains counsel on a criminal matter--and that person might very well be qualified in criminal law--but where immigration expertise is lacking. I don't want to scare you, because I don't have enough facts to say, but I think your case is one where a potentially bad result could happen if you're not careful.

    While this article is dated, I think it is still relevant in pointing to the potential seriousness of what could happen:

    http://www.visalaw.com/99nov/19nov99.html (See entire article for detail) -- <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Two decisions handed down on September 29, 1999 remind us how vulnerable noncitizens are under our immigration laws. Conviction of a relatively minor crime for most of us might result in nothing more than a period of probation. For the noncitizen, it could amount to an "aggravated felony" and mandate removal (deportation) from the United States without judicial review, even for a lawful permanent resident who has lived in the United States for decades and has close U.S. family ties. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>At minimum, under INA sec. 101(a)(43)(F), the offense you describe can be considered a "crime of violence." If, then, the MAXIMUM penalty for the offense is under a year, regardless of the actual period of confinement, I'd make sure with an immigration attorney this will be all right...but for sure, if the maximum penalty is a year or longer, you'd likely trigger the "aggravated felony" ground of removability. This goes beyond messing up the N-400, and goes straight to your ability to even remain in the U.S. at all.

    Except for the first paragraph, none of the above is meant to be legal advice. All I can say by way of advice is this: The best thing you can do, before you accept a plea deal, or plead guilty to anything, is consult with an immigration lawyer ASAP -- not just with your criminal lawyer (unless you're sure he is also competent in immigration law).

    (Note: Editing solely to correct bad grammar)
    ____________
    I'm just a J.D. I cannot give legal advice, except for the following:
    See a reputable immigration attorney for help.

  7. #7
    davdah,

    I know where you were going. This never happened before, and yes I was provoked. Not that it is any of your business, my wife is Canadian too and she got her greencard based on my application. And please save the "our women" BS.

    David.

  8. #8
    Teletype, I appreciate your advice very much!

    Thanks.
    David.

  9. #9
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by JF2007:
    until you know the charge is just simple not domestic, and you have the conviction record you can leave, but ur citizenship app, I think will be denied for discretion, then apply again in 5 yrs. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Hi JF2007 - thanks for your posting.

    Just to clarify, if I take a quick trip back home prior to conviction, dismissal or whatever result we work out eventually, i would NOT likely run into issues with INS upon re-entering US. Is my understanding correct? I don't mind going back permanently, I just don't want to be stranded at the border before I take care of affairs here in US.

  10. #10
    I was asking for input on immigration implication, not your self-righteous preaching. This is an immigration board, is it not?


    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by davdah:
    Not our business? You posted the story and asked for input. What did you expect? You didn't say she was Canadian at first so the 'bs' comment is out of line. Still, if you know where I am going, take a look anyhow. Especially if it really was provoked. You may also want to talk to a family law attorney specifically about that issue. Aside from that both of you should go see a marriage counselor. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

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