Skip to main content

I want to apply for citizenship. In 1996 I was charged with DUI and pleaded no contest. Will this be a problem?

Houston, TX |

I have had my green card since 1996. My DUI happened in Hawaii. According to my Attorney at the time my DUI was classified as a petty misdemeanor. Do I need to mention the DUI in the form N400, part 10D, 16-18?

Am I talking any risk applying for citizenship?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    Yes, of course you must mention the DUI on the N-400. Once the FBI runs your prints, the DUI arrest will show. A simple DUI conviction does not normally have adverse immigration consequences. Multiple DUI convictions, however, or a DUI conviction coupled with a conviction for Knowingly Driving with a Suspended License or No License, could definitely pose a problem. Not revealing the DUI arrest on the N-400, of course, would be a mistake.

    Please note, the above answer is for general informational purposes only. We are a full-service immigration and criminal defense law firm, representing clients in all 50 states and worldwide. Kristy Figueroa-Contreras, Esq., kristy@negri-torres.com, NEGRI, TORRES & FIGUEROA-CONTRERAS, PA, The Minorca, Suite 214, 2030 South Douglas Road, Miami, FL 33134, Tel. (305) 639-8599. Hablamos español. Falamos português.


  2. All questions on the N-400 must be answered truthfully.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


  3. Yes. It will be a problem if you do not tell the truth about your criminal background. All arrest must be included.

    Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2 www.MyImmigrationLawyer.info NOTE: Responses are for the education of the community at large and is not intended to be "legal advice." No attorney-client relationship is established by responses or comments.


  4. In addition to what my colleagues have stated, it is my experience that CIS won't grant an N-400 application until they have seen the official and final dispositions of all arrests. In situations where offenses have occurred out of the states in which my clients live, I ask them seek to obtain 'certified case printouts' for all arrests before they file the N-400. This is because obtaining such documents can take more time than CIS is willing to wait, should they ask for them at your interview. Moreover, if the record has been destroyed you will most likely need a certified letter from the court explaining that the records no longer exist.


  5. That is not a crime involving "moral turpitude" so it will not likely adversely effect your citizenship unless you fail to list it on the N-400 form since they will know about it anyway.

Immigration topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics