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B visas – effect of arrest

If you are in the United States on a B visa, doing business or taking a holiday or touring, the consequences of your behavior may have a much greater impact on your life than is true for a citizen engaging in the same behavior. While being arrested is never a good thing, for foreign nationals, it brings immigration problems. If a foreign national is arrested for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT), they may be subject to being deported and being rejected for all future visa applications.

Behaviors that are considered very minor in one’s home country may be seen as very serious in the United States. For this reason, finding a lawyer who can give advice as to the consequences of the individual’s circumstances is very important.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is an easy mistake to make, since its definition depends on measured levels of blood alcohol, a measurement the driver usually does not know. If a person applying for a visa has many or recent arrests for DUI the application process will be more time-consuming and more complicated; a doctor’s report may be required the ensure that he or she does not have a problem with alcohol.

If you’ve been arrested while on a B visa but BEFORE your criminal case is resolved

  • Get a good criminal defense attorney. Why? A good criminal attorney can reduce the risk of conviction, avoid making mistakes in criminal court that could hurt your status, and help you understand the charges and general nature of the accusations against you
  • Contact an immigration attorney. Why? An experienced immigration attorney will help you understand what you should do or not do in criminal court.
  • Consider hiring both an experienced criminal defense attorney and an experienced immigration attorney to ensure the best outcome.

If you’ve been arrested while on a B visa and AFTER your criminal case is resolved

  • Consult with a criminal attorney for a letter summarizing your case and the outcome and for the following documents
    • Your entire CERTIFIED criminal court file
    • Your certificate of disposition
    • Your CERTIFIED NYPD file
  • Get a written, custom report from an immigration attorney that discusses how your arrest and criminal court outcome will affect your US immigration status

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