JERSEY CITY and NEWARK, New Jersey. When the Trump administration expanded immigration priorities, the administration broadened its definition of “criminals” who are deportation priorities. According to the New York Times, Trump’s immigration priorities include any immigrant charged with crimes, even if those crimes don’t lead to conviction. Essentially, if you have been arrested by the police for anything, you can be considered a deportation priority. Fortunately, not many cities are honoring such a broad-based approach to deportation and referrals to ICE. While the Trump administration has been pushing police to ask for immigration status during routine traffic stops and other encounters with police, New Jersey police have chosen to not make this a priority. The likelihood an individual with face deportation proceedings for speeding is low.
Individuals with criminal convictions, however, are at greater risk of becoming a deportation priority. Under the Obama administration, only individuals convicted of serious crimes were considered a deportation priority. But, under the Trump administration, individuals found guilty of minor crimes, like misdemeanors could trigger deportation proceedings against them.
So, what should you do if you have a green card, are on DACA, or if you are an immigrant without paperwork facing misdemeanor charges? A few months ago, we here at the Law Office of Eric M. Mark, a criminal defense lawyer in Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey, considered how a Washington, D.C. decision granted jury trials to non-citizens who might face deportation consequences if they are found guilty of misdemeanor crimes. In general, individuals facing misdemeanor charges are usually not entitled to a jury trial. However, the New York Court of Appeals has granted individuals in this circumstance a jury trial. Higher courts tend to show favor toward jury trials for individuals who could face serious consequences as a result of their misdemeanor convictions.
If you are facing charges for any crime and are on a green card, are on DACA, are on a work visa, or if you don’t have legal paperwork to be in the country, you should speak to a qualified criminal defense lawyer like the Law Office of Eric M. Mark in Jersey City and Newark, New Jersey as soon as possible. A person with any case carrying deportation consequences should always request a jury trial. While the request will likely be denied, and will require appeals to higher courts to succeed, too much is at stake for an individual facing deportation. Jury cases have statistically higher odds of reaching favorable verdicts. Additionally, in the time between now and your appeal, the administration in power could change, and deportation priorities could likewise change.
Appealing for a jury trial raises procedural issues, so Eric M. Mark may have to file your appeal through the county assignment judge rather than through the municipal court. Because of your increased deportation risk with any court appearance or charge, it is always wise to speak to a qualified criminal defense lawyer and immigration lawyer as you navigate these legal systems.
Law Office of Eric M. Mark
Address: 201 Washington St.
Newark, NJ 07102
Phone: (973) 453-2009
JERSEY CITY OFFICE
By Appointment Only
121 Newark Ave., Suite 515
Jersey City, NJ 07302
Phone: (201) 713-2227