Waxahachie, TX asked in Immigration Law for Texas

Q: Unable to obtain certified copies of disposition due to court only keeping for 5 yrs, what are other options?

In 2009 I received an MIP, alcohol - citation only no arrest. County court only keeps records on Class C misdemeanors for 5 years. I am planning on filing for citizenship but don’t have the certified document showing what the disposition was. I however do have the copy given to me from clerk after I completed deferred disposition program and email from the court stating they have no records due to 5 yr policy. Would that be enough evidence to submit or should I try to get something certified from the courts stating no records on file?

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3 Lawyer Answers
Stanley Dale Radtke
Stanley Dale Radtke
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • San Leandro, CA

A: Technically, the citation was an arrest. The officer cited you for an offense, released you on your own recognizance, and ordered you to appeal at a later court hearing. If you went to court and paid a fine, you have a conviction for the offense. The question then is whether the offense was an infraction or a misdemeanor. If no court records are available, then the court will issue you a certified letter that that effect. You may then need to provide a sworn declaration under penalty of perjury as to what happened. Just remember that all arrests and criminal convictions are gathered by the FBI in a national database and lying to immigration officials is worse that your MIP conviction.

My suggestion would be to consult with an experience immigration attorney for actual legal advice.

Robert Roy Klein
Robert Roy Klein
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA

A: Also, the letter from the clerk would need to be certified. Go back to the court and have the clerk stamp it, which usually costs.

Kevin L Dixler
Kevin L Dixler
Answered
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL

A: I agree with Mr. Radtke. You will need to visit the law enforcement agency in addition to the courts to see if you can get a certified copy of the arrest record, as well. You should get a certified (sealed or notarized) letter from the county or city court to confirm that there is no longer a record, due to the file being destroyed after 5 years.

You should consider hiring a competent immigration attorney to help you with the application and examination process. Good luck.

The above is general information, not legal advice, and does not create an attorney client relationship.

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