Lee & Garasia, LLC
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Experience, Accessibility, and Excellence for Over 20 Years
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  • "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

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Criminal Law & Municipal Court Archives

Can Reckless Driving in NJ Cause Deportation? | Immigration Criminal Defense

In New Jersey, reckless driving is punished under Title 39. It is not classified as a criminal offense, which is codified under Title 2C of the New Jersey Code. 39:4-96 reads, in part:

212h Criminal Waiver | Not All Permanent Residents Barred From Applying

The Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) recently issued an important precedential decision in Matter of J-H-J, 26 I & N Dec. 563 (BIA 2015) that affects individuals who may need to file criminal waivers in order to stay in the United States. This is a notable decision bigstock-Courtroom-Trial-70035736.jpgbecause the Board has retreated from its former position and withdrawn from two previous decisions regarding the same issue.

Possession of Drugs in Car in NJ (39:4-49.1) Can Affect Immigration

bigstock-Police-officers-arresting-drog-41403949.jpgWhile most non-US citizens are generally aware that being convicted of a major crime may render them deportable, many will often underestimate the impact of certain traffic offenses on their immigration status. In New Jersey, for example, there is a traffic offense that is often charged as a companion offense to criminal offenses involving drugs, namely, 39:4-49.1 Drug Possession by Motor Vehicle Operator. This particular offense can be particularly virulent to a non-citizen because it is often dismissed as a something that is not criminal when, in fact, it is actually quite nasty.

Don't Gamble With US Citizenship | Underage Gambling Charges in New Jersey

bigstock-casino-gambling-poker-peopl-77962166.jpgWhile many minors are aware, or should be aware, that underage gambling is against the law, foreign-born minors may be exposed to additional collateral immigration consequences that are not as well known. While the offense is not found in or classified as a Title 2C criminal offense, it is nevertheless considered a disorderly persons offense. New Jersey Statute 5:12-119 provides in part:

New Jersey Criminal Law and Immigration: Conditional Discharge May Help First-Time Drug Offenders Avoid Deportation

Individuals charged with minor drug offenses in New Jersey in municipal court may be offered an opportunity to apply for and receive a conditional discharge. For a non-US citizen, it is critical to always consult with immigration counsel first before doing anything that is criminal related. Possession of marijuana offenses and paraphernalia offenses are particularly tricky because notwithstanding that fact that conviction of an offense related to controlled dangerous substances may render an individual deportable (not to mention disqualify him/her from receiving permanent residence), New Jersey's conditional discharge program may offer an "out" or provide an escape clause.

Ten Things Every Criminal Lawyer Needs to Know About Their Immigrant Clients

1. Never assume that your client is a United States Citizen just because he/she appears to be. Just because your client has no accent and acts and talks like everybody else does not necessarily mean he/she is a citizen!

Can I Be Deported Even If My Criminal Charge Has Been Dismissed?

For an illegal or undocumented alien, sometimes the ramifications of a New Jersey arrest arising out of an alleged criminal act are more harmful than the penal consequences of the act itself. By this point, most if not all serious criminal defense practitioners are aware that non-US citizens need to be apprised of the immigration consequences before entering into a plea agreement or pleading guilty. This, of course, makes sense since some people unknowingly plead guilty to criminal offenses that render them deportable (and to make matters worse, subject them to mandatory detention) without fully appreciating the import of pleading guilty. The logic is that some of these people-had they been fully informed--may have elected to go trial rather than speed up their own removal. Padilla vs. Kentucky, the seminal and watershed Supreme Court case that defines the duty of criminal defense lawyers representing non-citizens, perceptively reframes the issue: it is not so much about the legal obligations triggered by collateral consequences but more about receiving effective assistance of counsel.

Are There Immigration Consequences to New Jersey 2C:33-2.1 Wandering for Drugs?

Foreign nationals charged with drug-related crimes in New Jersey need to be aware that there may be consequences that extend far beyond the criminal penalties associated with the offense. In the immigration context, a conviction for a crime that involves controlled dangerous substances can not only potentially thwart an application for permanent residence but also result in an individual's removal from the United States.

Are There Deportation Consequences to 2C:33-2 New Jersey Disorderly Conduct?

Considered something of a "catch-all" because it covers such a broad range of unlawful conduct, Disorderly Conduct is one of the most frequently charged criminal offenses in New Jersey. It is usually lodged as an original offense or in many cases, offered as a downgrade or amendment to a more serious criminal offense. N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 defines the crime as follows (as of 2014):


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    • Client Distinction Award martindale.com | 2016 Martindale-Hubbell Client Distinction Award
    • New Jersey State Bar Association | Paris Lee Chair - Immigration Section 2015-2016
    • Nationally Recognized | Newsweek Nationwide Showcase | Top Attorneys 2013
    • New Jersey Chapter | American Immigration Lawyers Association | Angie Garasia | Chapter Chair 2015-2016
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Lee & Garasia, LLC
190 State Route 27
Edison, NJ 08820

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