Everything from traffic offenses (speeding, broken tail light, no registration) up to the most serious felonies are considered "criminal"? issues in the United States and are governed by criminal law.
Immigration may consider ANY criminal issue that an immigrant has when deciding whether that immigrant will:
- Have deportation proceedings brought against them
- Be admitted to the United States
- Remain in the United States
- Obtain a visa
- Obtain a green card
- Become a citizen
An immigrant's criminal history will directly affect immigration's decision about their case. This interaction between criminal and immigration law is what we call crimmigration and is one of our specialties here at Kuck Immigration!
Here are some of the most commonly asked crimmigration questions. If you have a question about your case that isn't answered here, contact us today at 404-816-8611.
- What is a conviction?
- Any time you plead guilty or nolo contendere, are found guilty by a judge or jury, pay a fine for a ticket or crime, forfeit your bond, be put on probation, or serve any type of sentence, you probably have a CONVICTION for a crime.
- The only time you will not have a conviction is when your case is dismissed, nolle prossed, or no-billed. You will have an order from the court stating this. You CANNOT have a case dismissed but then pay a fine for the case or go on probation. If you pay a fine or go on probation, your case has NOT been dismissed.
- A case being "closed" does not mean it has been dismissed. It means the case isn't active, but it is still a âconviction.â?
- You can pay a fine, do community service, or take classes to get the court to dismiss your case BEFORE a conviction. However, you must get an order from the court saying your case is dismissed AFTER you complete whatever task you are ordered to do.
- When do my criminal convictions go away so immigration can't use them against me?
- In the United States, criminal convictions are permanent. There is no clearing of your criminal record after a certain period of time. This means a DUI you had 20 years ago counts the same as a DUI you have today.
- A criminal court can expunge your case or give you First Offender Status or Conditional Discharge or a similar status. This will allow your conviction to be wiped from the state's records after a period of time. For the most part, however, immigration does NOT recognize expungements, First Offender, or Conditional Discharge. They will still consider you to have a conviction, and it will remain on your record forever.
- To get rid of a criminal conviction, the court must fully reopen your case and dismiss it. You will have an order from the court stating your case has been dismissed.
- Can traffic tickets affect my immigration status?
- Traffic tickets, excluding DUI, usually have little effect on most immigration statuses.
- The exception is Temporary Protected Status (TPS) â an immigrant with TPS cannot have more than ONE conviction for a traffic case or misdemeanor and NO felonies. If an immigrant with TPS gets more than one traffic conviction, they will lose TPS.
- This means that if you have TPS and you are stopped for no license and speeding, and you pay both tickets, you will lose your TPS!
- If you have several traffic offenses, immigration might consider in the aggregate how many times you've broken the law when deciding whether to give you immigration benefits. Too many traffic tickets can have a negative effect on immigration status.
Contact us today to learn more about how Kuck Immigration can help you with all of your crimmigration issues at 404-816-8611.