Lee & Garasia, LLC
  • Tel: 732-516-1717
  • Toll free: 888-404-5876
Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
  • "Lee and Garasia are excellent lawyers, punctual and professional. They are dedicated to going above and beyond the usual level of service to meet your client's needs. Their staff is very knowledgeable, friendly and polite. I would highly... recommend this firm to anyone." Read More

  • "I would definitely recommend Mr.Lee and Garasia as an immigration attorney because they did a great job with my case i.e. of Adjustment of Status (i-485). Mr. Lee helped us in each and every detailed information and prepared to the best of it. It was all well done and would like to appreciate." Read More

  • "I would like to thank my lawyer Mr Lee & Garasia and the staff for all immense help and patience throughout this entire process, I really appreciate your constant attention to my case, as well to my questions and my concerns. You've really made this process much more comprehensive to me, which I greatly appreciate." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee and Ms. Garasia did a great job with my renewal of my permanent residence application. They help prepare the paperwork with such a great attention to details and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "Mr. Lee did a great job with the renewal of my permanent residence application. My case was very time sensitive and they worked really fast on my case with great detail and accuracy. I will recommend the law firm every time." Read More

  • "I would recommend Attorney Paris Lee for anybody who needs immigration consultation. Mr. Lee is THE lawyer who respects and cares clients. Mr. Lee is professional and honest. Bottom line, preparation for the results and NO BS!" Read More

  • "Stalin - Lee did a wonderful job, Got my wife her visa in one year. He is extremely helpful and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for all your immigration needs." Read More

  • "Hello. I appoint him as my immigration lawyer and that way he solved my cases was truly amazing. He was so honest and knowledgeable for his work.He solved my all family imigration issues and because of his effort we were able to get done our immigration work done successful. Thank you lee and garasia." Read More

  • "Lee & Garasia stand for accountability and responsibility. They are reliable, honest and are always constructively looking for a solution.. A big thanks :)" Read More

Shoplifting in New Jersey and Its Effect on Citizenship

One of the more common crimes that occur in New Jersey is the offense of shoplifting. Shoplifting is a criminal offense codified in NJSA 2C:20-11, and the penalties can be very severe. Shoplifting is considered a crime of the second degree if the full retail value of the merchandise is $75,000 or more. It is a crime of the third degree if the value exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000. Shoplifting is a fourth degree crime if the value is at least $200 but does not exceed $500. If the amount alleged to be stolen is less than $200, the offense is treated as a disorderly persons offense.

For the non-citizen, the legal consequences of shoplifting can go much further than potential imprisonment and a criminal record: a conviction could potentially lead to a charge of deportability by the Department of Homeland Security. It could further render an alien inadmissible to the United States under certain circumstances. Assuming that the conviction does not render an alien deportable or inadmissible, the next logical question most people have is whether a conviction would disqualify someone from naturalization, or US citizenship. This, unfortunately, like most immigration questions is complicated. It is not black and white.

Should a lawful permanent resident (LPR) wish to apply for naturalization, he or she will have to show good moral character. If an LPR has pled guilty to shoplifting during the statutory period being considered for good moral character, citizenship could be problematic. This is because conviction of a crime(s) of involving moral mortuptiude could be used as a basis to deny the N-400. Generally speaking, a crime of moral turpitude is a crime that involves "evil intent," or crime knowingly committed with awareness of its criminal nature. Shoplifting could be considered a Crime Involving Moral Turptiude.

On the other hand, we have successfully helped many people naturalize in spite of thier conviction through use of the Petty Offense Exception. Under this exception, a CIMT can be waived for purposes of naturalization if: (1) the "petty offense" is the only CIMT ever committed; (2) the alien was sentenced to six months or less of imprisonment; and (3) the maximum possible sentencing exposure for the crime did not exceed one year in jail. There are, of course, exceptions to exceptions so anyone who potentially qualifies under this rule needs to consult with an attorney to carefully evaluate and confirm whether the exception truly applies. For example, conviction of more than one CIMT will disqualify an individual from using/invoking this protection. On the other hand, what is a CIMT? Not all crimes or offenses are CIMTs. An individual who has only one CIMT but other acts or offenses that are not is still arguably eligible. The point is that this is a very fact and legal sensitive situation that should only be evaluated by a qualified immigration attorney because an application for naturalization could easily backfire, and not only lead to a denial but expose the applicant to removal proceedings.

We hope that you have enjoyed this article and learned at least one new thing or tip that you may not have known. To keep informed about the latest developments in immigration law, please subscribe to our blog feed by clicking on the "Subscribe To This Blog's Feed" button on the right. It is important to understand that the above is only general information and not legal advice. The law is extremely fact and circumstance sensitive. For an individual legal analysis of your specific legal case, please complete the "Case Evaluation" box to the right of the screen to get in touch with one of our attorneys.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

PROFESSIONAL RECOGNITION

    • The National Advocates | Top 100 Lawyers
    • Rated by Super Lawyers | Angie Garasia | 5 Years
    • Avvo Rating 10.0 | Superb
    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationaly Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
Email Us For A Response

Start Your Case Evaluation

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

Map & Directions

icon phone732-516-1717 icon phone888-404-5876