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Becoming a US citizen? This year I applied for naturalization, after completing 5 years as a Permanent Resident.

New York, NY |

My only problem is that back in 2012 I received a fine for $75 for an open container in Philadelphia, PA, I paid by mail and was told I did not have a criminal record. I have gone 3 extensive background checks since (including a fingerprint check) and not a single issue arose. However, at a graduation party in NY for my friend I also received a ticket because a cop accused me of urinating in public (I've been advised that this charge will most likely be drop but I want to create a worst case scenario here). I've also been told that if the charge sticks it will be an administrative offense w/ a $65 fee. I wonder if these two offenses could get me bar from Naturalization or worst deported? Are these two offenses considered Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude.

I would also like to point out that the open container was in public, NOT in a vehicle.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. Classifying a crime as a CIMT depends on the exact letter of the statute under which you were charged. Deportation? Doubtful. Denial of your natz application? Maybe. You should obtain the certified final dispositions on both cases and consult with an immigration attorney prior to filing your application. You certainly don't want to pay $680 for the application and wait several months just to be told in the end that you need to wait a few more years then reapply.

    [This answer is for general purposes only; it does not constitute advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.]

  2. Is this quesiton for real or you are mocking us? In case it is for real, these two offenses will not bar one from Naturalization and will not cause one's deportation. They need to be disclosed though under the citation quesiton on the form.

    NYC EXPERIENCED IMMIGRATION ATTORNEYS; email:; Phone: (866) 456-­8654; Fax: 212-964-0440; Cell: 212-202-0325. The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.

  3. Neither of these offenses are crimes or moral turpitude, and if admitted, will have little or no negative consequences on your application for naturalization.

    Please click the link below for additional information.

    Carl Shusterman, Esq.
    Former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82)
    Board Certified Immigration Attorney (1986 - Present)
    Schedule a Legal Consultation - Know Your Rights!
    600 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1550
    Los Angeles, CA 90017
    (213) 394-4554 x0
    Web: (English) (Spanish)

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

  4. Looks like the "crimes" you described are not crimes but rather violations, as such they do not carry meaning of criminal conviction and will not affect your citizenship application. I would, however, disclose them on your application. Good luck.

    Att. number 917-885-2261 This advice does not create an attorney client relationship. No specific legal advice may be offered by the lawyer until a conflicts check is undertaken. Information sent through a web form or via email may not be treated as confidential. Please accept my apologies for spelling mistakes. Law Office of Alena Shautsova , New York Immigration Attorney Blog:

  5. I would certainly disclose the above two incidents you mentioned on your application and during the interview. Please note that other than a few questions from the Officer during your naturalization interview, you should still be approved assuming you mention these two incidents.

    You can also bring any Original or certified copies of the documentation you have to show that you paid the fines, case is closed, etc. Generally, if the violation above is considered criminal, you may want to obtain the certified copy of the police report and the court certified copy of the final disposition. If the above incidents are not criminal in nature, you can go to the appropriate government departments to obtain a record of your past criminal history. If you have no crimes for that particular county, then you can get a letter that is certified that states that you have no criminal history, etc. to provide to the Immigration Officer during your interview.

    In this way, with the above documentation, you can feel more confident going into the interview and you can also be prepared, should the Officer want some sort of documentation about the above noted incidents you mentioned. The Officer will feel more comfortable to approve your case once he or she sees the relevant documentation.

    Best regards,
    Lena Korial-Yonan, Esq.

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