New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

Aggravated Felony Consequences

Author: Deportation Defense Attorney Alena Shautsova

NYC Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova helps individuals with criminal convictions that may disqualify them from US Immigration benefits.

An aggravated felony is a type of crime that according to the Immigration laws may have very tough consequences for a non-citizen. What is an aggravated felony depends on the facts of the case and conviction record: it may be that a state shoplifting offense would qualify as an aggravated felony; and at times, a state-controlled substance offense would not be one. A careful analysis is required in each case to see if it is possible to avoid a conviction to be labeled as one for an aggravated felony.

Visa And Adjustment Of Status Consequences

A person may be found to be convicted of an aggravated felony even if he/she was convicted in their home country, but the comparison of the elements of the charge and punishment correspond to the definition of the aggravated felony under the United States Immigration laws. A person convicted of an aggravated felony is inadmissible, but not due to the “aggravated felony” match, but because it is also can be a crime of moral turpitude, offense related to a controlled substance, etc. For non-immigrant visa applicants, a waiver may be available; the same is for an immigrant visa. The same is true for adjustment of status applicants. Importantly there is no ground of inadmissibility “aggravated felony.”

Aggravated Felony And Deportation Proceedings

If a person is already in the United States pursuant to a lawful admission, or because he/she is a green card holder, and he/she is convicted of an aggravated felony, he/she is removable. There is a ground of removability “aggravated felony.” Such a person will be subject to mandatory detention if placed in removal proceedings, and is disqualified from voluntary departure unless very specific exceptions apply.

Moreover, a person convicted of an aggravated felony does not qualify for cancellation of removal either the one for permanent residents or for non-permanent residents. Here, it would be essential to try to challenge the labeling of a conviction as an aggravated felony.

Citizenship And Aggravated Felony

A person who is convicted of an aggravated felony is statutorily disqualified from naturalization, if a person was convicted of an aggravated felony on or after November 29, 1990.

Finally, an aggravated felony conviction will disqualify an individual from an asylum, in many cases will be found to have been convicted of a particularly serious crime and disqualified from withholding of removal: See here.

New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova helps individuals facing removal and inadmissibility charges due to criminal convictions. If you need a consultation, reserve it by calling 917-885-2261.

22 December 2020
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