New York Lawyer's Legal Updates

NYPD To Issue Tickets, Not Arrests, For Marijuana

Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova

     An arrest and a pending charge would prevent a person from acquiring a green card or citizenship. A conviction of possession of more than 30g of marijuana can result in one’s deportation… Some misdemeanors or criminal violations pose a problem when applying for permanent residency or citizenship. By paying the fine, you are pleading guilty to a criminal offense, which cannot be expunged or erased. If you are not a permanent resident, any contact with the police may pose a threat to your immigration status. Arrests can hurt your chances of getting a work visa, citizenship, or permanent residence.

     Many States step on a path to liberalize marihuana use. However, for Federal and Immigration purposes, marijuana possession and sale is still an issue. New York State decided to address this discrepancy in its own way. Starting from September 1, 2018, the NYPD will begin issuing tickets for most cases of public marijuana-smoking rather than making arrests. Arrests will only be made under a few circumstances, such as if someone is on probation or parole, has a lack of proper identification, has outstanding warrants, has a history of violence or if their smoking poses a public safety risk, such as smoking marijuana behind the wheel of an automobile. Issuing tickets, formally referred to a criminal summons, leave a permanent criminal record. The summons will result in a ticket that is estimated to be about $100 and requires an appearance in court. If you fail to appear in court to pay the fine, this will result in a warrant for arrest.

     For those applying for citizenship, it is important to have all the necessary documents and requirements and to include all criminal history on your N-400 form. For those looking for a permanent residency, often you will need to fill out an I-601A waiver for the criminal summons. Our office can handle both of these forms. If you would like our credited immigration attorney to analyze your case specifically regarding your criminal history and immigration status, please contact our office to schedule a consultation. You can book your consultation today by calling 917-885-2261.

06 July 2018
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