I've been resident of united states for about 9 years now, and it's about time to become a citizen. i'm a little concern about my criminal background i had five years ago. I plaid guilty to felony and misdemeanor, was a grand theft charges for about $480 that ruined my life for good. Now all the charges dismissed five years ago and i'm scared to apply for citizenship. would i get deported ? please any advice will be greatly appreciated.
A dismissal as a general rule, does not matter for immigration purposes. If you were convicted and then got the conviction expunged, it still appears as a conviction. Depending on what exactly you were convicted of, you may be put in immigration proceedings once you apply for your citizenship. This is actually a risk you run everyday you step out the door. If you are ever stopped by immigration, e.g. at a checkpoint or crossing the border, then they will see this on your record and may place you in removal proceedings. However, it may not be a problem at all. In that case, you would need to apply for your citizenship so that you never have to worry about deportation again. It is very important that you have an immigration attorney look at the conviction records asap so you know what you are dealing with. There are attorneys out there that would not charge you to look at your record. Two important pieces of advise: 1) don't travel outside the country until you know if your convictions would end up putting you in immigration proceedings and 2) don't lie on your naturalization application because they will find out and then try to deport you. Good luck.
Well if you pled to those charges there is a high probability that those criminal cases are convictions for immigration purposes. Those charges may even be deportable offenses as crimes involving moral turpitude committed within five years of admission. I encourage you to have your criminal and immigration records reviewed by an skilled, competent, and experienced immigration attorney.
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I agree with Attorney Guerra's comments. You need to obtain all information from the court cases from five years ago especially the record of adjudication. You should then contact an experienced immigration attorney who can examine your immigration and criminal history to provide a legal opinion as to what immigration benefits you qualify for under existing law.
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