Q: I have been charged with a criminal misdemenor. I plead guilty and now will attend a pre-trial conference. I am canadian
My fear is that I won't be able to cross the border if convicted of a criminal charge. I was riding my Off road vehicle in the desert - there was a wash out on the trail so I took a well used trail around it. But as I took the trail I observed someone waving to me. I approached them. It was a Fish and Game ranger. She informed me I was not on a designated trail. My tire was resting against a plant - so she took pictures of that and cited me with a criminal charge - destroying property. What can I hope for ? What might I be convicted of and not have a criminal record that would impede me from crossing the border into the USA?
A: It is highly unlikely that a nonviolent misdemeanor conviction would have any effect on your admissibility into the US. 8 USC 1182 lists the factors which may make a non-citizen inadmissible to the US. The two sections which most closely relate to your question are (2)(A)(i)(I) crime involving moral turpitude or (II) crime relating to a controlled substance and (B) conviction of 2 or more offenses for which the aggregate sentences to confinement were 5 years or more. I am not an immigration attorney, but I would imagine the bar is MUCH lower if applying for permanent residency / citizenship. To be deemed inadmissible, however, you have to be a pretty bad actor.
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