Jackson, MI asked in Immigration Law and Criminal Law for Michigan

Q: Can a assault and battery charge for trying to kiss can prevent you from being US citizen?

My friend is greencard holder and at a party he tried to kiss a girl, the girl was fine at that time and didn’t say anything but now he is being charged with assault and battery. His lawyer doesn’t seem like is of help and almost seem like he wants my friend to get in trouble. Can this charge prevent him from being the US citizen?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Possibly. The question your friend's lawyer is concerned with is whether an assault happened; he or she is not trying to get him in more trouble than he's already in, but must deal with and confront your friend with the facts that may come out at trial.

That lawyer, that judge, and that prosecutor have absolutely nothing to do with your friend's immigration status or granting of citizenship. That is a matter of federal law and the various immigration departments charged with dealing with that.

Your friend would be wise to speak with an immigration attorney BEFORE entering a plea or going to trial on the assault matter to help determine how this may affect his immigration status.

Caridad Pastor agrees with this answer

James L. Arrasmith
James L. Arrasmith pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: An assault and battery charge can potentially impact a green card holder's eligibility for U.S. citizenship. When applying for naturalization, the applicant's moral character is evaluated, typically over the 5 years immediately preceding the application. A conviction for assault and battery, depending on the specifics, can be seen as evidence of a lack of good moral character. If your friend is found guilty, it could pose challenges when he seeks to naturalize.

It's essential for your friend to work with an attorney who can effectively represent his interests. If he feels his current attorney isn't acting in his best interest, he may consider seeking a second opinion or new representation. Addressing the charge appropriately and proactively is crucial for future immigration prospects.

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