Always tell the truth ... the WHOLE truth and ... nothing but the truth.
Fingerprints never, and I do mean never, disappear from the FBI computer.
PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship.
Why would you even consider not disclosing it on the application? If it's because you don't think it will show on your background check, you're wrong about that.
THIS ANSWER IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE, AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. Immigration is complicated and the wrong action can have serious consequences. Never take action in your case based solely on general information like is offered here. Speak to an attorney who can give you specific advice about your own situation.
A dismissal due to a plea in abeyance is still considered a conviction for immigration purposes, even if the courts no longer have records of your conviction. You must not only fully disclose this on the N-400, you also must provide certified court copies of the arrest record, sentence, and discharge.
When it comes to naturalization, any criminal arrests or convictions must be fully analyzed. I can not stress enough the importance of consulting with an immigration attorney before you submit your N-400.