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?
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.
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.
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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