Is an arrest going to effect my H1-B visa stamping even though the case was dismissed with no conviction and no guilty plea?

Asked 7 months ago - Cleveland, OH

I was involved in a retail theft because of a friend of mine. I was arrested but not finger printed( state of Ohio) and later was given a court date. I hired an attorney to represent me who negotiated with the prosecutor and the retail store representative who decided to drop all the charges if I attended a theft diversion class, which I did and the case was dismissed with no conviction and no guilty plea as the charges were dropped and the case was expunged. I was also given an official copy with all the above mentioned details by the court. Now my questions are:

1)Will this effect my visa stamping process ?
2.) Do I have to disclose the arrest( as I was not fingered and the case was dismissed as the charges were dropped) on DS-160?
3.) Are there any other concerns ?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. Carl Michael Shusterman

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    16

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes, you need to disclose the arrest. Show all the paperwork to an experienced immigration attorney before you attempt to obtain a temporary visa. Please see

    Mr. Shusterman's response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should... more
  2. Diana Marie Santos

    Contributor Level 10

    10

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You absolutely have to disclose this arrest. If you did not plead guilty, and were not otherwise found guilty (facts sufficient to find guilt plus a deferred sentence), it wont affect your eligibility. HOWEVER, if you lie about it - that would be misrepresentation to obtain an immigration benefit, and that would affect your eligibility.

  3. Andrew Marino Bramante

    Contributor Level 15

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. You must disclose. I disagree with one of the attorneys above who suggests that the absence of a conviction means it is not an issue. The immigration consequences of some criminal offenses are based on what the person did not what they were convicted of. Retail theft is one such offense. If you have NO OTHER criminal issues, here or in your home country, this offense may fall within the "petty offense exception". You should have a detailed conversation with an immigration attorney who will anticipate all the questions you will be asked by the consulate or CBP officer. Be prepared.

    You should always consult with an experienced immigration attorney to make certain that the advice you received is... more
  4. Ksenia Alexandrovna Maiorova

    Contributor Level 15

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You must disclose the arrest. The immigration consequences of an arrest will depend on the exact nature of the charge and disposition. Bring your court records to an experienced immigration attorney before taking any further steps.

    Answers provided by Ksenia Maiorova, Esq. on Avvo.com are of a general nature and do not constitute legal advice.
  5. Stephen D. Berman

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It will affect it, you do have to disclose it, and it should not prevent you from getting the visa or being admitted to the U.S.

    The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an... more
  6. Juan Paolo Pasia Sarmiento

    Contributor Level 15
    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . 1)Will this effect my visa stamping process ?

    It won’t. But you need certified copies of those records.

    2.) Do I have to disclose the arrest( as I was not fingered and the case was dismissed as the charges were dropped) on DS-160?

    Yes.

    3.) Are there any other concerns ?

    No. You were not convicted.


    JP Sarmiento
    Free Consultations (email /phone/in-person)
    (216) 573-3712
    jp@sarmientoimmigration.com
    www.sarmientoimmigration.com

  7. Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

    Contributor Level 20

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Disclose any criminal record honestly and provide certified disposition of any criminal matters as requested during the process.

    DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general... more
  8. Robert Louis Brown

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . You must disclose.

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