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Do I need to disclose my dismissed charges?

San Francisco, CA |

I was given a citation for petty theft at a department store in California in 2009 (being stopped by a private security guard and released with a citation for theft with a court date). Therefore, I hired a lawyer, successfully completed pretrial diversion program and all the charges were dismissed in 2010. I am not American citizen, I have student visa and attend school here. I do not have any criminal record what so ever, neither in USA nor in my home country. It was my first offense and have been in good behavior since then.
My question is, I got married to my husband last year, he is US citizen and we plan to apply for a Green Card for me. Would this situation effect on my eligibility to Adjust to Legal Permanent Resident Status through marriage?Should I disclose it on green card paper?

Attorney Answers 3

Posted

I have a bit of unpleasant news for you. You do have a criminal record stating that your charges in 2009 were dismissed due to completed Diversion Program.
In your case, each such matter must be disclosed during I-130 AOS based on your marriage to a US Citizen, however, please note that such admission of a crime of moral turpitude will be considered by the USCIS at the time of the interview.
Also, a certified case disposition in this matter must be obtained beforehand the interview.
I suggest to find a good immigration attorney in San Francisco to complete your AOS without potential adverse effect on your AOS.

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Asker

Posted

Thank you very much for taking time to answer my question. I will tell the truth and attach the certified copy of my dismissal and sentencing along with my Green Card application. One more thing, I took my husband's name in 2011 after the marriage. And I've recently applied for a paid internship within a big company as I currently attend my MBA program. The company run a criminal background check as a result no court records were found for felony and misdemeanor and I got the intern position! Now I wonder this is because I've changed my name or dismissed charges due to pre-trial diversion program are not open to public in CA. Your answer will be greatly appreciated!

Posted

It will not make you inadmissible but you must disclose. Make sure you obtain certified copies of the record.
___________________
Luis A. Guerra, Esq.
Law Office of Luis A. Guerra, PA
Atrium Centre
4801 South University Dr., Suite 252
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33328
Telephone: (954)434-5800
Facsimile: (954)518-4268
Email: luis@guerralegal.com
Web: www.guerralegal.com

Law Office of Luis A. Guerra (954) 434-5800. This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice.

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Posted

The I-485 form will ask if you have ever been arrested. You will need to tell the truth. Get a lawyer to help prepare a memo to attach to the form.

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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Asker

Posted

Thank you very much for taking time to answer my question. However, I have never been arrested, it was a citation. I was cited by a security guard at the store. I will tell the truth and attach the certified copy of my dismissal and sentencing along with my Green Card application. Also, I took my husband's name in 2011 after the marriage. And I've recently applied for a paid internship within a big company as I currently attend my MBA program. The company run a criminal background check as a result no court records were found for felony and misdemeanor and I got the intern position! Now I wonder this is because I've changed my name or dismissed charges due to pre-trial diversion program are not open to public in CA. Your answer will be greatly appreciated!

F. J. Capriotti III

F. J. Capriotti III

Posted

Talk to a lawyer. The security guard probably performed a 'citizens arrest'.

Asker

Posted

I had a lawyer who represented me in this case in 2009 and he says this is a citation not an arrest. Thanks.

F. J. Capriotti III

F. J. Capriotti III

Posted

Clearly you need to talk to an IMMIGRATION attorney, not a criminal defense attorney. Citations and arrests are completely different things. Still, if I were you, I'd disclose.

Asker

Posted

I will hire an immigration lawyer to assist me with the process of filling for GC application also hoping to get advice regarding what to do with my dismissed charges from him/her.

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