A person who has has had permanent residence for five years, resided in the U.S. for seven years after being granted any lawful status, and who does not have an aggravated felony conviction, can apply for cancellation of removal (assuming he did not receive a prior cancellation of removal for non-permanent residents). There are a few issues with his case.
The conviction for cultivation of marijuana is likely a drug trafficking conviction (an aggravated felony) that will bar him form cancellation of removal. He should be hiring an immigration lawyer and also a post conviction relief lawyer to investigate whether the superior court conviction can be vacated for cause (i.e. possible ineffective assistance of counsel or procedural errors in failing to provide certain required advisals to him of the immigration consequences of the plea). These are two lawyers who work on post-conviction relief issues, but they are in the Bay Area:
I am assuming his seven years of residence and permanent resident status started at the same time (i.e. he first received status when he got the green card). He would have seven years of residence and five years of status based on the dates. But, there is a stop-clock rule that ends his residence as of the date of commission of the drug crime. So, he would only have two years of residence. That is, unless he had a prior arrival in lawful status (i.e. lets say he came to the US on a tourist visa in 1995--he would have had 12 years of residence when the clock stopped). The permanent resident or green card status itself is not stopped by this rule so he would be deemed to have the necessary five years for that.
Unfortunately, this is an up hill battle. There is probably zero chance that he can do this without an attorney.
Conviction would impact his good moral character. He would have to proof extremely high level of hardship. Consult with immigration for a full evaluation.
The above is intended as general information only and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Call (212)880-1538 for detailed evaluation of your case. Laws change constantly and vary from state to state. The legal principals discussed may differ substantially from your personal situation. Therefore, You should consult an attorney about your particular situation. Visit us at WWW.USIMMIGRATIONPLUS.COM Contact Immigration Law Offices of Tsirina Goroshit at 275 Madison Avenue, 4th Floor New York, NY 10016
I agree with Attorney Crabtree. Your friend is going to need BOTH a criminal defense attorney and an immigration attorney, or one who is well-versed in both areas of law. He will not be able to handle this case on his own.
Jamahl C. Kersey (619) 399-3662 is a Criminal Defense and Immigration attorney licensed in CA. The answer above is provided for informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client. Best regards, Jamahl C. Kersey The Law Office of Jamahl C. Kersey, Esq. 5703 Oberlin Drive Suite 201 San Diego, CA 92121 Tel: 619.399.3662 Fax: 888.765.5894 firstname.lastname@example.org www.kerseylawoffice.com http://www.facebook.com/CriminalImmigrationLawyers