The interplay between criminal law and immigration status is a complex field, governed by a web of statutes, regulations, and case law. For non-U.S. citizens, being charged with robbery under New York (NY) Penal Law can have severe implications for their immigration status. This article will delineate the relationship between robbery charges in NY and the ramifications they may have on one’s ability to remain in the United States.
Understanding Robbery Charges in New York
Robbery Defined: In New York State, robbery is defined as forcible stealing, involving the use of force or threat of force to commit theft. The degree of robbery charges ranges from third degree, a class D felony, to first degree, a class B felony, depending on the severity of the circumstances.
Impact on Immigration Status
Aggravated Felonies and Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMTs): Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), certain crimes are classified as aggravated felonies or CIMTs, which can make a non-citizen deportable. Robbery typically falls under these categories.
Grounds of Inadmissibility: The INA sets forth multiple grounds on which a non-citizen may be deemed inadmissible, including having committed certain crimes or violations.
Deportation Relief Options
When a non-citizen faces deportation due to a robbery charge, several forms of relief might be available:
- Cancellation of Removal: This option is available for certain permanent residents and non-permanent residents who meet specific criteria.
- Asylum and Withholding of Removal: If a non-citizen fears persecution in their home country, they may apply for asylum or withholding of removal.
- Adjustment of Status: Under certain circumstances, a non-citizen may apply to adjust their status, potentially avoiding deportation.
The Role of Legal Counsel
Seeking the guidance of an attorney with expertise in both immigration and NY penal law is crucial. The attorney can navigate the complexities of the case and may provide a defense strategy that could mitigate immigration consequences.
The Attorney’s Experience
As an attorney practicing immigration and criminal law in New York and New Jersey, I have witnessed firsthand how robbery charges can dramatically affect a non-citizen’s life. My approach involves a detailed analysis of the charges against the backdrop of immigration statutes and case law.
FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can a robbery conviction in NY automatically lead to deportation? A: While not automatic, a robbery conviction can make a non-citizen deportable because robbery is often considered an aggravated felony or a CIMT.
Q: Is it possible to avoid deportation if charged with robbery in NY? A: There may be defenses and forms of relief available, but they depend on the specific facts of the case and require skilled legal representation.
Q: Are all non-citizens treated the same under the INA regarding robbery charges? A: No, the consequences can vary significantly depending on the person’s immigration status, criminal history, and other factors.
Q: Can legal permanent residents be deported for a robbery conviction in NY? A: Yes, legal permanent residents can be deported for committing an aggravated felony or a CIMT, which often includes robbery offenses.
Q: Should someone facing robbery charges and potential immigration issues seek an attorney? A: Absolutely. It is critical to have an attorney who understands both the criminal and immigration law implications of robbery charges.
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