Immigration and arrest are two important topics that are closely related. Immigration involves the movement of people from one country to another, while the arrest takes someone into police custody for a crime. Understanding how these two topics intersect is essential because an arrest can significantly affect your immigration case. What happens to your immigration case if you get arrested?
It’s crucial to understand the consequences of an arrest on your immigration case because it can have severe and long-lasting effects. An arrest can impact your ability to stay in the country and affect different types of immigration cases. Some of such cases are family-based visas, employment-based visas, and asylum applications.
Furthermore, a criminal conviction resulting from an arrest can lead to deportation or ineligibility for certain visas.
Immediate Consequences of Being Arrested
- The police will take you into custody:
If the police arrest you, they will take you into custody and detain you in a holding cell or detention center. This can be a stressful and uncomfortable experience, as you will separate from your friends and family and have limited access to food, water, and personal belongings.
- The Police may search you:
As part of the arrest process, the police may search you. This can involve a pat-down search of your clothing or a more invasive search if the police suspect you carry illegal items or contraband.
- Having your personal belongings seized:
Law enforcement officials may seize their personal belongings as evidence or for safekeeping. Personal belongings can include phones, wallets, keys, and other items in the person’s possession during the arrest. The government will take the items into custody and hold them until the person is out of custody. Law enforcement may release them when they are no longer necessary as evidence.
Depending on the nature of the arrest, law enforcement officials may question you. The officials will read your Miranda rights, which are the right to remain silent and the right to an attorney. It’s important to understand these rights and exercise them, as anything you say during questioning can be harmful to your case in court.
How the Arrest Can Affect Your Ability to Stay in the Country
If you are an immigrant, an arrest can affect your ability to stay in the country. They may place you in deportation proceedings or have your visa or green card application denied. It all depends on the arrest circumstances.
If you are in the country on a temporary visa, an arrest can result in the revocation of your visa and a requirement to leave the country immediately.
If you are not convicted, an arrest can raise concerns about your character and increase scrutiny of your immigration status. Therefore, it’s important to seek legal advice if you are an immigrant arrested.
How Arrests Can Affect Different Types of Immigration Cases
An arrest can have significant consequences on different types of immigration cases. It can affect Family-based visas, employment-based visas, and asylum applications.
However, an arrest can generally lead to the denial or delay of the immigration case.
- Family-based visas: If you are applying for a family-based visa, an arrest can raise concerns about your eligibility to sponsor your family member. The government may question whether you can financially support your family member and whether your relationship is genuine. An arrest can also impact the family member’s eligibility to obtain a visa, especially if they are a dependent or a spouse.
- Employment-based visas: An arrest can impact your eligibility for an employment-based visa. If you are applying for a visa based on a job offer, an arrest can make it harder for your employer to obtain the necessary approvals from the government. An arrest can also raise concerns about your character and increase scrutiny of your background.
- Asylum applications: If you are applying for asylum, an arrest can be especially damaging to your case. An arrest can raise questions about your credibility and whether you need protection.
If you have been arrested for a crime, the government may argue that you are not eligible for asylum. The government may also think that you pose a threat to national security.
An arrest can impact any immigration case by raising concerns about your character and background. It’s important to consult with a lawyer to understand how an arrest may impact your specific case.
Criminal Convictions and Immigration Consequences
A criminal conviction can have serious consequences on your immigration status. Depending on the nature and severity of the crime, a criminal conviction can lead to deportation or ineligibility for certain visas. The government can use a criminal conviction to deny a visa or remove an individual from the country.
Minor offenses like traffic violations or disorderly conduct may not significantly affect your immigration status. However, more serious crimes, such as drug or violence, can lead to deportation or ineligibility for certain visas.
In general, the government considers crimes that involve moral turpitude, such as fraud, theft, or assault, to be especially serious. Crimes involving controlled substances or firearms can also significantly affect your immigration status. It’s important to understand that even if you have completed your sentence a criminal conviction can still impact your immigration status.
Suppose you have been convicted of a crime and are unsure how it may impact your immigration status. In that case, it’s important to consult with a lawyer.
What to Do If You Are Arrested
If you are arrested and have an ongoing immigration case, it’s important to take the following steps:
- Stay calm and do not resist arrest
- Ask for an attorney immediately
- Inform the law enforcement officer that you have an ongoing immigration case.
- Contact your immigration attorney as soon as possible
- Do not provide any information or sign any documents without consulting with your attorney
- Keep track of any court dates or appointments related to your arrest and immigration case
- Follow the advice of your attorney
It’s important to understand that any information you provide to law enforcement or sign can significantly affect your immigration case. It’s best to consult with an attorney before taking any action.
Importance of Seeking Legal Counsel and How to Find an Immigration Lawyer
Seeking legal counsel is critical if you are an immigrant who has been arrested or has an ongoing immigration case. An immigration lawyer can help you understand your options and navigate the complex immigration system. A lawyer can also help you develop a strategy to minimize the impact of the arrest on your immigration case.
To find an immigration lawyer, you can:
- Ask for referrals from friends, family members, or other attorneys
- Check with your local bar association or legal aid organization
- Search online for immigration lawyers in your area
- Check with immigration advocacy organizations for referrals
When choosing an immigration lawyer, it’s important to choose someone with experience handling cases similar to yours. You can schedule a consultation with a few lawyers before choosing the one who is right for you.
Summary: What Happens to Your Immigration Case if You Get Arrested?
Understanding the potential consequences of an arrest on your immigration case and seeking legal counsel is important. If you are an arrested immigrant, your arrest can have immediate consequences, like being detained, and facing criminal charges.
Criminal convictions can lead to deportation or ineligibility for certain visas. Additionally, your arrest can affect your ability to stay in the country and impact different immigration cases.
Do You Need to Talk to an Immigration Attorney About the Consequences of an Arrest on Your Immigration Case?
Contact us to connect with an experienced immigration attorney. To schedule a consultation, dial 914-481-8822. Our knowledgeable attorney will answer your questions and offer the legal guidance you need.