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I want to apply for citizenship but have a Misdemeanor DUI from2004 on record.No other offenses ever,before that or after

San Diego, CA |

How does expunging the record help in matters like this? The attorney who was with me back then was a friend of a friend and he had NO CLUE what he was doing.Heentered a guilty plea!!!! Should I apply on my own and just send the certified copy of the arrest report or will getting a lawyer make a big difference.Hopefully this time someone that knows what they are doing

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Attorney answers 6

Best Answer

One DUI should not have a negative impact on your application for citizenship. Generally the last five years are reviewed most closely when it comes to criminal activity.

One DUI I does not a drunkard make. As long as your application shows you are generally of good moral character, this one incident should not have a significant impact.

However it might be a good idea to have a experienced immigration lawyer review your application, arrest and court records to determine if there are issues that need clarification.

Law Offices of J Thomas Smith J.D., Ph.D 11500 Northwest Freeway, Suite 280 Houston, TX 77092 713-LAWYER-2


Unfortunately, for immigration purposes, expunging the DUI won't do anything for you. It's probably better to have an immigration attorney help you through it, but I don't suspect it will make that much of a difference.

Best to consult an immigration attorney instead of a DUI or criminal attorney. Good luck!

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You should ask an Immigration attorney, but I don't think a DUI will preclude citizenship.

Seth Weinstein, Esq.
Practicing throughout Southern California
(310) 707-7131

This reply should NOT be considered a legal opinion of your case / inquiry. At this time I do not have sufficient factual/legal documentation to give a complete answer to your question and there may be more to the issues you raised then I have set out in my brief reply.


I am not an immigration attorney. However, my understanding is that the DUI is a removeable offense. You will need to attack the conviction itself. For that you will probably need a nowledgeable defense attorney.

The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client relationship as this forum does not provide for a confidential communication.


Repost this question to the 'Immigration" Practice Area so that you attract responses from attorneys with experience in this specialized area of law. Good luck.


Obtaining a dismissal under Penal Code section 1203.4 (commonly, and wrongfully, referred to as California's "expungement" statute) should not have much, if any, an effect on the immigration status issue. Contact an experience immigration attorney for the best advice moving forward.

Good Luck!

Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555