Buena Park, CA asked in DUI / DWI and Immigration Law for California

Q: Filing citizenship or renewing my permanent resident card with DUI on my record?

Long Beach, CA | 20 hours ago

I have one DUI on my record that happen 8/11/12 in Los Angeles county and convicted 6/4/2013 with count 02 Charge Section 23152(B) and count 01 Charge Section 23152(A) was dismissed. I complied with the court and DMV prerequisites to complete my case. As an addition on 12/22/16 I submitted a CR181 form order for dismissal, but I haven't received anything back from the court. My green card expired 2/21/2017, and I haven't had no encounter with the law since that incident. I don't know if I should file for citizenship or just renew my green card. I don't want any problems with immigration for them to deny my citizenship app. What would you recommend?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Sergio H. Benavides
Sergio H. Benavides
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Licensed in California

A: When you have a criminal record, and you want to apply for citizenship, you seriously need the help of an attorney to analyze your situation very carefully. Whether or not to file citizenship is a difficult question, because immigration authorities look at someone's criminal record in a different way that you might think. A normal expungement/dismissal in California, for example, does not get rid of a criminal conviction for purposes of immigration. I recommend you go and have a consultation with a criminal defense attorney or with an immigration attorney or someone who does both to make sure that the question you ask is fully assessed and that all records are analyzed before you apply for citizenship. If your criminal record is harmful to your situation, you could end up getting deported.

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