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Applying for citizenship with sealed arrest record

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

Posted

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

Jacqueline Delgado<p> www.delgado-law.com<p> 561.342.1429<p> This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice, create an attorney-client relationship, or constitute attorney advertising.

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Asker

Posted

would i need to re applied to get the case seal again once its reopened?

Jacqueline Delgado

Jacqueline Delgado

Posted

To have it resealed it is just a motion. For the expungement there is a process. Unfortuanately this happens a lot with my immigration clients who have the luck of being arrested.

Asker

Posted

I see thank you. where do I file this motion? at the courthouse?

Jacqueline Delgado

Jacqueline Delgado

Posted

Yes with clekr in the division where the criminal case was filed.

Asker

Posted

okay i will do that. thank you so much for your input.

Kyndra L. Mulder

Kyndra L. Mulder

Posted

Sealing or expunging the record is not going to help you in successfully accomplishing your immigration goals.

Posted

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

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Asker

Posted

i do have the original sealing certificate but i dont have the disposition of the charges will that be okay? and should i send a copy or my only original? thank you for your help.

Karen-Lee Pollak

Karen-Lee Pollak

Posted

submit a copy and take the original to the interview

Posted

Get a certificate to state they are sealed.

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Asker

Posted

i do have the original sealing certificate should i mail this with the N-400 form?

Deborah Lynne Karapetian

Deborah Lynne Karapetian

Posted

No. You will then loose it. Take it with you to interview.

Posted

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

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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.

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FORMER IMMIGRATION LAW PROFESSOR -- LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

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 legal advice, but is only a general informational response for public interest. No one reading this is authorized to claim that an attorney client relationship exists with this writer or the writer's law firm.

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Asker

Posted

where do I file this motion you are talking about?

Javier E Morales

Javier E Morales

Posted

You have to file in the Criminal Court were the charges were sealed. I recommend retaining an attorney.

Posted

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.

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