I am a green card holder since 2006 and was arrested in Las Vegas in 2011 and charged with possession of controlled substance and soliciting prostitution. I was sentenced to forfeit bail, complete AIDS counseling, the felony possession was reduced to a misdemeanor, and court dismissed the case per negotiations and approved my record being sealed. It was my understanding at the time that the result of the case was favorable and would cause no immigration issues in the future.
I was then advised by an immigration attorney to not apply for naturalization as it would trigger removal proceedings... but
I successfully renewed my green card two years ago without any issues. I would like to obtain US citizenship as I cannot travel outside US currently because as I understand, there’s a high chance of triggering removal proceedings upon reentry to the US. Is there any chance I could obtain US citizenship at this point? Can my court case be re-opened and the final decision reversed based on Padilla v Kentucky since I had no idea and was not advised by my criminal defense attorney that the outcome would put me at risk for deportation and have such serious immigration consequences?
You weren't 'charged' ... you were CONVICTED.
The file can not be completely sealed/expunged.
Contact an attorney to see if Padilla really applies to your situation. Further, being put 'at risk of deportation'is NOT the standard for Padilla.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for 10+ years -- All responses on this blog are offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.
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