NJ Disorderly Persons Offense is a Conviction for Removal Proceedings

If you are a non-citizen facing a disorderly persons offense, such as theft by deception under 2C:20-4(a), the Law Office of Jason T. Komninos can help. The Board of Immigration Appeals has ruled that this disorderly persons offense constitutes a conviction for the purposes of removal proceedings.

On March 30, 2022, the Board of Immigration Appeals issued a ruling in the Matter of Kwok S. Wong, 28 I&N Dec. 518 (BIA 2022). In this case, the respondent pleaded guilty in New Jersey to the disorderly persons offense of theft by deception.

He also had a conviction for forgery in the second degree in New York. Therefore, he was charged with removability by the Department of Homeland Security.

The respondent argued that the New Jersey disorderly persons offense does not constitute a conviction under the Immigration and Nationality Act. In New Jersey, disorderly persons offenses do not carry the right to an indictment by the grand jury or the right to a jury trial. Furthermore, disorderly persons offenses are not considered crimes under the New Jersey Constitution.

However, the Board of Immigration Appeals noted that the following constitutional rights do apply to disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey: proof beyond reasonable doubt, the right of confrontation, the right to have a speedy trial, and double jeopardy.

It should also be noted that a theft conviction is considered a crime involving moral turpitude for immigration purposes.

If you are facing charges for this type of offense in New Jersey, you should retain an attorney to protect your rights. CallĀ 201-343-4622 to schedule a consultation.