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Should I answer yes or no for "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime... on DS160 form?

Miami, FL |

I got a ticket for selling alcohol to a minor while I was on F1 visa. I took a course and then case was dismissed. Also later I expunged it and have obtained a certified copy of the disposition
I have changed my status to H1b and now I have to go to my home country and do the Visa stamping. So when filling the application for H1B visa, in the DS160 form for the question "Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty or other similar legal action?" should I answer yes or no?

Attorney Answers 7


  1. You were never "convicted". Answer "yes" ONLY IF you were actually "arrested" = apprehended, then detained (no matter how briefly) and had your picture and fingerprints taken, rather than having simply being issued a "ticket".

    Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


  2. You have never been arrested or convicted. Expungement never wipes out a convictions if such conviction exists.


  3. I disagree with some if my colleagues. Based on your facts, you definitely were arrested, even if you weren't taken to jail to be booked. In Florida, selling alcohol to a minor is a second-degree misdemeanor. You will need to answer "yes" and obtain certified copies of the arrest affidavit, certificate if completion if the pre-trial diversion program, and final disposition. Hopefully you or your attorney obtained these certified copies prior to doing the expungement. As my colleague stated, expungement is irrelevant when it comes to immigration. Best of luck!

    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.


  4. I respectfully disagree with my colleagues. In Florida, Section 562.11(1)(a) indicates that selling alcohol to a minor is a second degree misdemeanor. Although you received what you explained was a "ticket" your encounter with law enforcement could be classified as an arrest depending on the circumstances. I would want to review the "ticket" your received and also speak with you about the nature of your encounter with law enforcement before I provided a recommendation as to answering that question. Moreover, I'm also a little concerned about the dismissal as well. Did you have to pay any fine associated with the charge and did the Court initially note that adjudication was withheld during this process? If so, there are additional considerations that should be discussed as well. I would recommend that you discuss this matter in detail with counsel before completing the DS-160.

    This answer is provided for general information purposes only and an attorney/client relationship is neither intended nor created. Please seek qualified counsel to review your case and provide you with advice specific to your situation.


  5. YES.

    The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


  6. Mention "yes" and keep the proceeding paperwork handy.

    This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to seek independent and private counseling for a complete review of your case.

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