How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Chris The Lawyer Your Own Question

Chris The Lawyer
Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22553
Experience:  New Zealand qualified lawyer with 37 years of experience.
32702153
Type Your New Zealand Law Question Here...
Chris The Lawyer is online now

Hello I was deported form New Zealand back in October 2014.

Customer Question

Hello I was deported form New Zealand back in October 2014. They said I was being deported because I was liable to commit an offense that was punishable by imprisonment which was smoking marijuana. I told them that I used to smoke it but that I had stopped because of a medical illness. The immi officer made a judgement call and said he was deporting me because he thought I was liable to smoke it while in NZ. I got a lawyers number while I was in a police cell in NZ and when he rang up to say there reason for deportation wasnt good enough as marijuana is NOT punishable by imprisonment they made out that I had a serious criminal record and also made out that I was deported from Australia in an immigration swoop, neither of which ever happened to me so Im just wondering what can I do to reclaim my losses at least?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: New Zealand Law
Expert:  Chris The Lawyer replied 2 years ago.
Chris The Lawyer :

There are a number of issues which you have explained which raise some questions. Smoking marijuana is definitely not in prison of all if you are caught with the minimum quantity and is only a fine. However it still is a criminal offence

Chris The Lawyer :

I am very surprised that you were in a police cell if you were arrested for smoking marijuana. However it may be that you were in the cell for the purpose of deportation.

Chris The Lawyer :

Normally when you are deported you have to wait five years before you can apply for another visa. So the lawyer who told you that you could get back into the country within twelve days does not appear to understand the usual procedure

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

I wasnt caught. I told immi when I was in the airport going through customs that I used to smoke it as they were asking questions about my medication.

Chris The Lawyer :

I don't understand why you were deported. Did they form a decision about your character based on the interview?

Chris The Lawyer :

Why were you in a police cell?

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

Yes I think so. I got spiked back in 2010 with horse tanquiliser in ireland but only recently went on meds for my illness. They put me in a police cell because they said they had no holding cell in CHC airport

Chris The Lawyer :

Immigration do sometimes make arbitrary decisions about issues like this, particularly for young people. It is difficult to challenge those decisions particularly when you are at the border and they are deciding whether to let you in or not.

Chris The Lawyer :

You do have to wait for five years before you can apply for a visa, or try to get a character waiver. That is not necessarily very easy to get. I am still unsure why you were deported, because if you had a working holiday visa you should have had no difficulty

Chris The Lawyer :

Smoking marijuana is not usually a basis for refusing entry. If it was, then many young people would be unable to enter New Zealand.

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

Haha I know. Back in 2009 I was asked to leave Australia because I was two days over the grace period when they received my application. It took seven months for my working holiday to be accepted. I had to get a special direction first which took four months and the working holiday took three. I was the first person ever to receive one after being excluded from another country so immi told me. But they realised it was a mistake on Australian Immigrations behalf. Thats why they pulled me in. I had told customs that I had one puff of a joint back on the first of April but that it was my last and before that I hadnt smoked since last year. Im under the impression that the immi officer didnt know it wasnt punishable by imprisonment

Chris The Lawyer :

The immigration officer would definitely know that this is not imprisonable and may have been using this as an excuse. Without a character waiver you will just have to wait five years, but you would need a better immigration lawyer or consultant

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

I have applied for another special direction and my lawyer proved that I had no criminal record again as I had to prove that in order to get my visa in first place

Chris The Lawyer :

It does appear unusual to me. Have you had any greater detail from the immigration department about the reasons for deportation? Has your lawyer asked for the Official Information held about you? This is a procedure by which you can get a copy of the file about you

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

Yes and it said that I was liable to commit an offence punishable by imprisonment by smoking marijuana. He asked for an urgent request which took one month for them to deliver. I seen it all as I have a wedding in twizel on the 20th of december so we were rushing to get this done

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

It didnt say anything about the criminal conviction they were talking about or the so called deportation from OZ

Chris The Lawyer :

Just so you are clear the Misuse of Drugs Act says about cannabis use-

Chris The Lawyer :
7Possession and use of controlled drugs




  • (1)Except as provided in section 8, or pursuant to a licence under this Act, or as otherwise permitted by regulations made under this Act, no person shall—




    • (a)procure or have in his possession, or consume, smoke, or otherwise use, any controlled drug; or






    • (b)supply or administer, or offer to supply or administer, any Class C controlled drug to any other person, or otherwise deal in any such controlled drug.






    (2)Subject to subsection (3), but without prejudice to any liability under section 6, every person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence against this Act and is liable on conviction—




    • (a)to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to a fine not exceeding $1,000 or to both where a Class A controlled drug was the controlled drug or one of the controlled drugs in relation to which the offence was committed:






    • (b)to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months or to a fine not exceeding $500 or to both in any other case:




    provided that, where any person is convicted of an offence against subsection (1) relating only to a Class C controlled drug and is liable to a penalty under paragraph (b), the Judge or District Court Judge shall not impose a custodial sentence (being a sentence under which a person is liable to be detained in a prison within the meaning of theCorrections Act 2004) unless, by reason of the offender’s previous convictions or of any exceptional circumstances relating to the offence or the offender, the Judge or District Court Judge is of the opinion that such a sentence should be imposed.




Chris The Lawyer :

Cannbis is a class C drug

Chris The Lawyer :

So you see that in some cases this can be a jail sentence, but of course you have not been convicted of anything and have a clean record I assume

Chris The Lawyer :

So there is no basis for saying you have a criminal record, except that you have admitted using marijuana, hardly a serious issue

Chris The Lawyer :

That is why I am struggling with why you were deported

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

Never being convicted of anything in my life. My lawyer used that paragraph above in my appeal submission. I was caught underage drinking but was never convicted all I got was a caution but thats the same for most Irish people

Chris The Lawyer :

In a situation like this the New Zealand ombudsman would be able to investigate to see if you have been treated unfairly. But that will not get you a visa to the wedding in four days. Their process, while thorough and usually dealt with reasonably quickly, will take some time to resolve.

Chris The Lawyer :

http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

Thanks and would I need a lawyer to help the situation?

Chris The Lawyer :

They have an online form that you can use, but most don't need a lawyer

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

ie with the ombudsman

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

Thanks Chris

Chris The Lawyer :

Because I have only seen a sample of the issue, I cannot definitively say what should happen. But it does seem that you have been treated unduly harshly

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

If I get over (or dont) would you be able to assist me in the process for a fee as Im not very good at this whole thing

Chris The Lawyer :

I suggest you start with the form on their website at http://www.ombudsman.parliament.nz/make-a-complaint/make-a-complaint-now/make-a-complaint-online-now

Chris The Lawyer :

That will start a dialogue with their complaints officers

Chris The Lawyer :

But I can assist

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

Can you send me your details so I can look you up and get in contact

JACUSTOMER-hx7xdmho- :

If I need to

Chris The Lawyer :

Contact me through here and I can do that

Chris The Lawyer, Lawyer
Category: New Zealand Law
Satisfied Customers: 22553
Experience: New Zealand qualified lawyer with 37 years of experience.
Chris The Lawyer and other New Zealand Law Specialists are ready to help you

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H.
< Previous | Next >
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H.
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C.
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Chris The Lawyer

    Chris The Lawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8104
    New Zealand qualified lawyer with 37 years of experience.
< Previous | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/CH/christhelawyer/2016-7-21_23550_.64x64.jpg Chris The Lawyer's Avatar

    Chris The Lawyer

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8104
    New Zealand qualified lawyer with 37 years of experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/JO/JoseMagadan/2013-6-27_16279_IMG6290copia.64x64.JPG José M.'s Avatar

    José M.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    21
    Spanish Attorney
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    6
    Private practice with experience in common law, civil law, international family law, and international contracts.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MS/MsAM/2012-6-9_16426_anna.64x64.jpeg Anna's Avatar

    Anna

    Teacher, writer, biologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    270
    Great research skills, variety of work experiences, teaching experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PD/pdheslin/2012-6-6_232056_pambig.64x64.jpg pdheslin's Avatar

    pdheslin

    Consultant

    Satisfied Customers:

    51
    20+ years of internet site creation and search engine optimization. Dozens of search tools at my disposal.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/BL/blueflowers1063/2013-10-10_35834_KimHolidays1.64x64.jpg Kim D.'s Avatar

    Kim D.

    Consultant

    Satisfied Customers:

    27
    Researcher 20+yrs in small and large institutions
 
 
 

Related New Zealand Law Questions