Immigration Consequences of Criminal Charges Against Non-Citizens in NJ

What Happens if I’m Charged with a Crime in NJ and Not a Citizen?

Worried about being deported for criminal charge in NJ help near meIf you are charged with a crime in New Jersey and you are not a U.S. citizen, the potential immigration consequences of a conviction can be severe. The specific repercussions of the charge on your immigration status depend on what type of criminal offense you are convicted of and what your immigration status is. An explanation of the possible outcomes in your criminal case if you are undocumented, a visa holder, or a permanent resident, is provided below for your reference. If you are a non-U.S. citizen who has been charged with a crime in New Jersey, the first and most important step to take is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Depending on your immigration status, if you can avoid a conviction, you can avoid deportation and other negative outcomes. Attorney William C. Fay and the lawyers at our firm have handled many criminal cases involving potential immigration consequences in Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and throughout New Jersey. Contact us today at 609-832-3202 for a free consultation and get answers regarding your unique situation.

I am undocumented and was arrested for a minor criminal offense. Can I be deported?

If you do not have any legal immigration status in the U.S., either because you entered without inspection or you overstayed on a visa, you are removable or deportable if you commit a minor crime, known in New Jersey as a disorderly persons offense, or even if you do not commit any crime at all. Once you are convicted or even if the criminal charges against you are dismissed, you can be referred to immigration enforcement officials.

Depending on what offense you committed, you may be detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement while you wait for your hearing before an immigration judge or you may be released and issued a Notice to Appear at immigration court at a later date. If you fail to appear for your court date, you can be issued a removal order in absentia, which means the judge as issued an order for you to be deported, even though you were absent from the hearing and unable to defend yourself.

By attending your hearing, you can apply for some form of relief, like asylum, that may allow you to stay in the U.S. Note that asylum is only available to individuals who have been persecuted in their country based on a protected ground. The requirements to qualify for asylum are very specific and committed certain crimes could be a bar to receiving asylum. You should consult an immigration attorney about your eligibility.

I have a visa and was charged with crime. Will I lose my status?

When you are issued a visa to study, work, or travel in the U.S., your non-immigrant visa is contingent on you following the law. If you commit a crime that constitutes a ground for removability, you can be deported. These offenses include crimes of moral turpitude (CIMT)—a crime that shocks the public conscience, drug crimes, gun offenses, domestic violence, theft, failure to register as a sex offender, espionage, treason, and aggravated felonies. Whether you will actually be deported depends on the discretion of ICE attorneys to pursue your removal in immigration court and the decision of the immigration judge. The best way to avoid having your visa revoked is to hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can get your charges downgraded or dismissed.

I am a green card holder facing criminal charges. Could I be facing deportation?

Unfortunately, even if you made the U.S. your home years ago and are a valid green card holder, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you can be deported from the U.S., if you are convicted of a crime that constitutes a ground for removal. However, as a green card holder, you may be eligible for certain applications for relief like Cancellation of Removal for Certain Permanent Residents. To be eligible for cancellation of removal, you must demonstrate to the immigration judge that you have been continuously present in the U.S. for 10 years or more, you are a person of good moral character, you have not been convicted of certain crimes listed under the Immigration and Nationality Act, your removal would cause exceptional and extreme hardship to your U.S. citizen spouse, parent, or child, and you deserve the judge’s favorable discretion. The first step when dealing with criminal charges is to fight aggressively for your innocence. We are skilled at negotiations and trial, and will work tirelessly to prevent your residency from being jeopardized.

Get Help with Your Criminal Case

If you or a loved one find yourself facing criminal charges in NJ as an undocumented individual, visa holder, or permanent resident, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. Call our office for immediate assistance from an attorney who can help. We can be reached anytime at 609-832-3202 to assist you.


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"Excellent criminal defense lawyer"

"William handled a matter for me and exceeded my expectations. He was excellent in all areas of the law and achieved an outstanding result. Best of all,he demonstrates honesty and integrity. I would highly recommend William and already have."


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"I was so scared and nervous about my legal situation but Mr. Fay did an outstanding job with my case!!! I was so relieved with the outcome and he worked so hard for me! He was so calm and understanding and I’m so grateful for him. Thank you so very much for helping me! I am so grateful appreciative."


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"All Charges Dropped & Expunged"

"William defended me in my marijuana + paraphernalia case, he had all charges dropped and expunged! Despite the fact I was long past conditional discharges/probation, etc. He has a sharp wit and a bright future ahead of him as an attorney. Thanks again Will!"


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"Fantastic Lawyer"

"Mr. Fay is a fantastic lawyer. He helped me during a very stressful time in my life. He was knowledgeable about my case and what my options were. He answered all my questions and was very reassuring. He was there waiting for me at the entrance on my court date and made me feel at ease. He worked with the prosecutor to reduce my charges. I got the best outcome I could have hoped for. I highly recommend Mr. Fay if you need a lawyer."


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"Marijuana Charges"

"I was arrested and summoned to court for possession of marijuana, even though I didn't have any on me. It was my first time getting in trouble and I was terrified and nervous. Mr. Fay came into court prepared and was extremely assuring. He made it very clear that he was going to fight for my case until the very end. He was extremely knowledgable about my case and the ways to resolve it. I would recommend Mr. Fay to anyone who has gotten into trouble."

former client

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"Excellent lawyer. Highly recommended."

"Mr. Fay is extremely caring and knowledgeable. He took the time to explain the entire process in a very clear manner and was a tremendous help during a stressful time. He was always available to take a phone call and really showed that he cared about me and my case. I highly recommend Mr. Fay as an attorney." "

former client

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"Highly recommend"

"Great lawyer. Created a best possible outcome for my case."

former client

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"Amazing job, explains very clearly"

"He did a fantastic job on my case, making my penalty much less than I thought it could possibly be. He clearly understands what he is doing and can explain everything in a way that anyone can understand. Any questions I had were answered very clearly and he listened to all small details of my case."

former client

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If you or someone you love has been charged with a criminal or DUI offense in New Jersey, finding the answers you need to make informed decisions is critical. Complete our contact form to request your free consultation or contact 609-832-3202

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