Applying for citizenship with sealed arrest record

Asked almost 2 years ago - Tampa, FL

Good afternoon everyone
I am 24 years old and applying for US citizenship. I meet all the requirements; the only problem is that I was arrested last year for domestic violence(misdemeanor).I did not have enough money to hire a lawyer so I went with public lawyers and they told me to plead innocent which I did. My girlfriend (now fiancée) dropped the charges and at the end they were dismissed and this year I got them sealed. Now that I am applying for citizenship, the instructions say I must provide record of the arrest as well as court certification of having the charges dismissed, but I cannot get these documents! I went to the courthouse and they told me that once these records are sealed, I can't get any of the information, for citizenship purposes or otherwise. What should I do?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Jacqueline Delgado

    Contributor Level 8

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    chosen by asker

    Answered . You need to motion judge to reopen case then ask them to reseal it. You can get it expunged.

    Jacqueline Delgado

    www.delgado-law.com

    561.342.1429

    This answer is provided for informational... more

    www.delgado-law.com

    561.342.1429

    This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising. less

  2. Javier E Morales

    Contributor Level 13

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to file a motion to unseal and re-seal after obtaining certified copies of the arrest report and dispositions.

    Morales Law Firm P.A. 2100 Coral Way Ste 703 Miami, FL 33145 (305) 851-7856 This response is not offered as... more
  3. Fernando Perez III

    Pro

    Contributor Level 8

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the case was just sealed, and not expunged, what we do is file a motion to unseal the file so we can get the necessary copies. Once we are done with the citizenship process then we get them sealed again. If you want me to take care of the unsealing and the citizenship process I would be happy to do that for you. It is very important to get them unsealed before you file anything with Immigration because there are some situations where even though you do not have a conviction under Florida law you have a conviction under Immigration law which is different. If you do, a domestic violence conviction will result in the denial of the citizenship and the commencement of deportation proceedings.

    If you would like me to take care of everything, the legal fee is $1500 plus $200 in costs and the filing fees. This includes unsealing he criminal case, filing the citizenship application, and going with you to the interview.

  4. Karen-Lee Pollak

    Contributor Level 19

    3

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    Answered . Just get a letter or print out from the court showing the records are sealed. That should be fine.

  5. Deborah Lynne Karapetian

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    3

    Lawyers agree

    1

    Answered . Get a certificate to state they are sealed.

  6. F. J. Capriotti III

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Talk to the lawyer that helped you get them sealed. He/she probably has a copy pre-seal.

    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    Franco Capriotti - Senior Legal Counsel & Former Professor of Immigration Law - Capriotti International Law - franco@capriotti.com

    Our services are not limited by State, nor International bounderies. Our licenses allow us to represent people worldwide.
    _______________________________________________________________________________________
    Do not rely completely on information you get on any website. It is always wise to consult personally with an immigration attorney before taking action.

    Consider contacting one of the attorneys on Avvo, or www.ailalawyer.com - If you are low income go here: www.justice.gov/eoir/probono/states.htm or http://www.immigrationlawhelp.org/
    _____________________________________________________________________________________


    Capriotti International Law
    www.capriotti.com
    franco@capriotti.com
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    FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It... more

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