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Have client applying for naturalization. Pleaded guilty to…

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Have client applying for naturalization...
Have client applying for naturalization. Pleaded guilty to Grand Theft over $20,000 (Fl St. 812.014 (2)(b) second degree felony--January 2003. Adjudication withheld. Placed on two years of Community Control. Would USCIS claim this is aggravated felony and deny Nats? Possibly even put in Removal?
Thanks
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Legal
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6/11/2010
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 8 years ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
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Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Yes possibly. I'm surprised ICE didn't put a lock on him. The general rule of thumb is to have a clean record during the last five years before you put in your N-400.

You are INELIGIBLE for citizenship if:

1) You committed two or more felonies during your stay in the US, and/or<BR

2) You committed a crime of moral turpitude - a highly complex interpretation to which a rough guideline can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_turpitude#Interpretation_of_moral_turpitudeOr finally, if 3)You were convicted of possession of 20 or more grams of cocaine or 30 or more grams of marijuana.

You are ELIGIBLE if none of those apply to you and otherwise your criminal record has been clean for five years. Traffic violations don’t really count unless they are misdemeanors, but I HAVE known USCIS officers who are sticklers for anything and will deny a petition just on a speeding ticket! Then again, I have seen others who let minor misdemeanors pass through without the five year wait – they have wide latitude in interpretation of what is bad enough to be denied, but it’s always best to wait until your record is five years clean. To make matters worse – any “deferment” programs such as “deferred adjudication” or “diversion” count as a CONVICTION in the eyes of USCIS!


Finally, USCIS retains certain discretion to deny your case even without a conviction, although that is rare. So if you have a record of arrest(s) but no convictions, your overall application should be still bolstered through affidavits and letters of good moral character of third parties such as community leaders and clerics.

So in your case, I'd wait 5 years from after the conviction. Finally, his conviction is moral turpitude, so he does risk removal...

Best of luck in your matter. I'm here if you need any more clarification or follow up information.



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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

You did not answer whether or not "Comunity Control" for two years counts as "imprisonment for more than one year" to fall in aggravated felony category for Immigration purposes. This happend more than 5 years ago, so moral issue not applicable.

thanks again .

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