In order to be approved for citizenship, you are required to demonstrate that you have been a person of "good moral character" for the past 5 years.
Depending on the date of your offense and conviction, it might cause problems for your naturalization application.
You should definitely consult with an immigration attorney about your case. You should thoroughly review your entire immigration and criminal history (including all incidents, no matter how minor) with an experienced attorney, to be sure that you don't run into serious problems.
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I glad that you've already gotten a response from an immigration attorney despite the Practice area label placed on your question of Criminal Defense. I'm going to edit the practice are to reflect Immigration which is what you need most. good luck.
If it has been more than 5 years from your conviction and completion of your sentence then you would probably be ok. You need to provide a copy of your disposition. I would not risk doing this without an attorney.
Please be advised my answers to questions does not constitute legal advise and you should not rely on it, due to the fact that we have never met, I have not been aprised of the facts in you case nor have I reviewed any documents.
As the US Supreme Court has opined, most criminal defense attorneys do not know immigration law. Call an immigration attorney. My colleagues that have answered are excellent. Try also Harlan York profiled on AVVO.
Simple Assault in and of itself is not a CIMT. I am curious exactly how you have determined it is CIMT. There is no provision for bias in NJSA 2C:12-1a. Are you sure you pled guilty to a disorderly persons offense? SEE www.njcrimmigration.com for detailed opinions.
As another attorney stated, simple assault is not in and of itself a CIMT. However, if it is related to a domestic dispute, you will want to have your record evaluated for any potential exposure to deportation. Also, as stated, there should be less effect if the conviction was more than 5 years prior to your application. Immigration does have the right to look beyond the 5 years though. A citizenship application with NO criminal background is something one can normally handle on their own but I highly suggest you retain an attorney since you do have a criminal history. Our office practices both criminal and immigration law so feel free to call us for a consultation.