Ten years ago I had a arrest for possession of a controlled substance that was then dismissed by a Deferred Entry of Judgment. This arrest and the dismissal shows up on my FBI background check. What effect will this have on my emigrating from the US to New Zealand?
State/Country relating to question: California
Hi, I’m a moderator for this topic and I wonder whether you’re still waiting for an answer. If you are, please let me know and I will do my best to find a professional to assist you right away. If not, feel free to let me know and I will cancel this question for you. Thank you!
I am still waiting for a response.
Sometimes, finding the right Expert can take a little longer than expected and we thank you greatly for your understanding. We’ll be in touch again shortly.
HiWelcome to JustAnswer. If this was for possession of a minor amount of drugs they may question you but you should get a visa. However if you have never been convicted of an offence then you do not need to explain the issue to Immigration as only court convictions are significant. I was not sure if this was what happened to you
In addition to asking if you were "convicted" of a crime, The new zealand visa application specifically asks if you were "charged" for a crime. The fbi background check shows that I was arrested and "charged" with a crime, but it also shows that charge was "dismissed" per completion of a deferral of judgement program.
Then you need to tell them what happened, and the explanation should be enough.
Do you know of any cases where such arrests and charges have prevented someone from emigrating to New Zealand?
The records of the Immigration Department and decisions which they have made are not publicly available. But I am directly aware that they will prevent entry but only for serious drug cases or other serious criminal offences. You do not have a conviction. You were just charged, but not convicted and sentenced. You have to disclose this because the form says so, but because you have no record of a conviction, then you are still of good character. The test for immigration is that you are of good character. It does not say you must have a clean record.
LLB MMgt FAMINZ 32 years qualified as lawyer
Hello again, I recieved my FBI records and pasted the charges below. Do you think this qualifies as a "serious drug case" and do you think the personal explanation (pasted below the FBI records) will be sufficient, or will I need to provide the actual court documents. I am concerned about the "FOR SALE" part of the charge. The FBI records show that the charge was dismissed. However, in California, this type of charge cannot be dismissed, only the lesser charge of simple posession can be dismissed. This makes the FBI record somewhat incomplete. I am also wordering if I should take the time to correct it, or would the appearance of another reduced charge look worse than what is already there. My personal statement is the truth, I only had one pill in my pocket and I was not trying to sell it to anyone. But I am afraid the FBI records do not show that and instead make it sound like I was caught with a large quantity of drugs and was actively trying to sell them. FBI IDENTIFICATION RECORD - FBI NO- ########1-ARRESTED OR RECEIVED 2002/04/## AGENCY-SHERIFF'S OFFICE AGENCY CASE-##########CHARGE 1-001 COUNTS OF CONSPIRACY,COMMIT CRIMECHARGE 2-001 COUNTS OF TRANSP/ETC CNTL SUBCHARGE 3-001 COUNTS OF POSS CONTROLLED SUBSTANCECOURT-SUPERIOR COURT CHARGE-11378 HS-POSSESS CONTROL SUBSTANCE FOR SALESENTENCE-DISMISSED/FURTHERANCE OF JUSTICE-DIV TERM/SUCCESSRECORD UPDATED 2012/05/24Personal Explanation:
I was at a music festival with a group of people to celebrate college graduation. One of the people in the group I was with told me I should take one of the pills they had and handed me one, which I then put in my pocket. A female next to me that I did not know then asked me where she could get some of the same thing. I responded by directing her to the person that gave the substance to me. She then went and interacted with that person. A few minutes later I was arrested and the arresting officers found the controlled substance in my pocket. I then found out that the female was an undercover officer and she had negotiated a purchase of the controlled substance from the person that gave the substance to me. The charges against me were dismissed by the court.
The important thing is that the charges were dismissed. You can explain this in New Zealand law terms as diversion, which is how similar cases are treated in New Zealand for first offenders. This would not be regarded as a serious matter, because although you were charged you do not have a conviction, and it is convictions that are the issue that immigration will be looking at.
so the "for sale" part of the charge will not be an issue. Also, do you think a personal statement is sufficient, or will I need to provide additional court documentation and a letter from my original attorney that describes my case?Also, should I explain the differences between the two charges?
California Health and Safety 11378 (POSSESS CONTROL SUBSTANCE FOR SALE) is not eligible for drug diversion (PC1000, Prop 36, or Drug Court).
California Health and Safety 11377 (POSSESS CONTROL SUBSTANCE) is eligible for drug diversion (PC1000, Prop 36, or Drug Court).
It would be useful to get the official court documents, plus the explanation from your attorney. Immigration are concerned if you are of good character and this is demonstrated by the charges being dismissed, rather than going to jail or being fined.
Thank you, My attorney is preparing a letter that will describe the circumstances of the arrest, the kind and amount of drugs I possessed when arrested (one pill of ecstasy), the initial charge (felony posession for sale; not guilty) and ultimate charge (felony posession; guilty), the successful completion of diversion, and finally the dismissal of the charges. He will also attahch the police report, court minutes, and drug diversion completion certificate. I will also include the personal statement about the circumstanses of the arrest. Two of the individuals that I have worked on charitable projects with over the past 3 to 4 years have written character reference letters for me. I will send those letters to the Consulate General as well. Is there any other information you can think of that I should include? Is there any information given above that I should not include?Thank you.
I think you are on the right track. The test is whether you are of good character and the documents you describe would be helpful in making that decision. I hope it works out for you.
I got the visa. Thank you for your help
Great-thanks for letting me know!
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).