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Urgent advice needed: impact of criminal conviction in HK on my work visa and permanent residence

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    9

    Urgent advice needed: impact of criminal conviction in HK on my work visa and permanent residence

    Hi, I have been living and working in HK since the last five years. My GEP got renewed until 2022 recently. This week, the HK police detained me with illegal substances in my bag. I said the substances are mine for personal consumption.

    They are planning to charge me with possession of dangerous drugs and for a more minor substance that is not a dangerous drug but is by prescription only, which I did not have.

    I want to know what effect a criminal conviction for drug possession would have on my current work permit.

    I plan to apply for permanent residence after 2022, would I get it? I'm hoping that I secure a bind over as I'm highly educated, law abiding, pay my taxes and have no criminal record. This is my first offence.

    Also, does anyone have any idea if cases such as mine can get a bind over? The amount of illegal substances was 0.4 g.

    I really don't want to be convicted as that would severely curb passage to other countries and I need to travel for work. If there are any suggestions on how I should navigate this precarious situation, they are welcome.

    Thank you for your help.

    Last edited by shri; 28-06-2019 at 06:11 PM. Reason: minor edits

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Lawyer, NOW. Well, yesterday would have been better.

    Yes, minor drug offences can get a binding over, but you will need a lawyer. The justice department and police are not your friends here.


  3. #3

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    Lawyer up. No one on this forum is an expert, and an expert is what you need right now.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Get a lawyer and spend the money, now. And in future don't do anything illegal, you should be extra cautious about your actions until you are a permanent resident.

    Having any charge, small or big, is going to cause a problem. For example I was charged with allowing an object to fall, aka my window fell out of my flat onto the street, not on purpose and no one got hurt, my employment visa renewal got blocked and had to go before an immigration board to decide whether to let me stay or not. That was at minimum 6-9 month delay and caused me to lose a job offer as the employer found out (not the particulars but enough to know what was up). I was told by the police, it is just a fixed penalty no biggie. Such BS. Don't talk to them. The whole thing took me by surprise as I did not even do anything wrong (in my opinion at least), yet blame must be pushed to someone.

    Now if an immigration board saw a case of possession of drugs. It doesn't look good. I don't know the rules but I would think this is not a valuable asset to HK and one would be asked to leave. You won't have an answer for a long time, no one knows, only a lawyer can help you. Perhaps they will set up some "life changes" and community service so you can share your story to the court when you go. But if you didn't plan this on guidance of a lawyer and had to suddenly appear in court, I would say for sure you'll need to leave.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2019
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    Lawyering up

    Yes, I am going to see a criminal lawyer today. I feel so bad for falling into the police's fake sympathy trap. I will update this thread with the lawyer's feedback soon. Thank you all for the advice. Deeply appreciated.

    MABinPengChau and shri like this.

  6. #6

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    Best of luck. Hope your issue gets sorted!

    MABinPengChau and Suisen like this.
    Have a GeoExpat related problem - please create a support ticket.

  7. #7

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    Jan 2018
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suisen
    Yes, I am going to see a criminal lawyer today. I feel so bad for falling into the police's fake sympathy trap. I will update this thread with the lawyer's feedback soon. Thank you all for the advice. Deeply appreciated.

    Good luck!! The one thing I have learned from all the true crime documentaries that I have watched is that the police will say ANYTHING to get you to confess. ANYTHING. They are NOT on your side. In the US they can lie, tell you they have evidence that they don't have (DNA, fingerprints, whatever), it's really outrageous.

    So you are making the right move by getting a lawyer. Maybe your ex-boyfriend could man up and admit the stuff is his, whatever, I really, really hope it works out for you.
    Suisen and Drunken Master like this.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by MABinPengChau
    Good luck!! The one thing I have learned from all the true crime documentaries that I have watched is that the police will say ANYTHING to get you to confess. ANYTHING. They are NOT on your side. In the US they can lie, tell you they have evidence that they don't have (DNA, fingerprints, whatever), it's really outrageous.
    Mandatory viewing if you've not seen this. Very much American, but it does apply to anyone who has the "right to remain silent".

    Even if you want to confess, wait till you get advice before you do. Unfortunately, very very few of us have the mental strength to say "no" to a figure of authority. We may say we will - esp online, but in reality subconscious respect or fear of authority takes over.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-7o9xYp7eE
    MABinPengChau likes this.
    Have a GeoExpat related problem - please create a support ticket.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suisen
    as I'm highly educated, law abiding
    illegal substances
    snjt likes this.

  10. #10

    Join Date
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    In the US they HAVE to stop questioning when you ask for a lawyer. Otherwise, yes, I know I would totally break down and confess to anything, whether or not I had done it. So the key is to extricate yourself from interrogation as soon as possible.

    shri likes this.

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