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expunged criminal record, green card application pending Criminal Records, Expungement

Discussion in 'Criminal Records, Expungement' started by hasinka14, Sep 14, 2006.

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  1. hasinka14

    hasinka14 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Hello,
    I have read all of the posts and responses regarding similar issues and have couple of questions. My prolem is as follow. I got married over a year ago to an American citizen. Currently we are four months pregnant . In January of this year I did something really stupid. I stole some earrings (all less than $50)from a department store and was cought and arrested. It was my first trouble ever, so I got off easily (or so I thought). I served 24 hours of community service and paid some fine. Recently my case was expunged. I understand from previous posts that expungement doesn't mean anything for Immigration. All of this happened while my green card was (and still is) pending. I also, read about the exception rule - if the maximum penalty was over a year in jail and a maximum sentence was 6 months. I believe in my case, maximum penalty was 6 months( I am not sure, we live in Ohio and this is where the arrest happened. Does anyone have access to maximum penalty information?) and I got no jail time; therefore, I think, the exception rule would apply.
    My questions are:
    1. does the exception rule regard pernament residents only or would it apply to me as well (I was on a student visa and then got married as I said and now my case is pending)?
    2. Since my case is still being process, can they request more information about my criminal record and how would I go about getting it, if my record is expunged?
    3. Can the case be denied despite the exception rule? If denied, will I be deported?
    4. If we are called for an interview, will they ask me about the criminal record in front of my husband? I read in previous posts that even though I can legally say that i have clean record, Immigration may consider it as a lie and I should reveal everything.
    5. Is the fact that it is taking more than a year for my case to process (I stil haven't gotten my work permit either) due to my criminal record? All of this (arrest, conviction, sentence and expungement) happened while the case was already pending.
    6. Do I need to make changes to I-485 about my criminal record?
    Please tell me honestly what are my chances for getting a green card and how much trouble am I in. Do I need a lawyer? I really cannot afford one. My husband is having a surgery, we have a baby on a way, I cannot work and my dad is very sick (had a stroke and is in coma) back home in Poland. Therefore any advice or comment would be greatly appriciated. Thank you
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2006
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    I might not be the person to best answer all your questions but I can tell you that if you have a criminal conviction then you might be best served in using a lawyer. It seems you are very well educated as to the whole problem of a petty theft not being so petty or minor when it comes to immigration issues. I also believe you are correct about expunged records -- you must answer truthfully about the facts, not the legal remedy.

    You will need to find out what crime you were convicted of in Ohio and by posting it here perhaps we can help you out with regard to the exception rule. Best of luck to you and most important your new family member. :D

     
  3. hasinka14

    hasinka14 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    Thank you very much for your response. I appreciate any kind of help. My interview is comming soon so I need answers as fast as possible.
    I was convicted of nothing pretty much since my case was dismissed (due to my competion of the Petty Theft Division Program). My court order says " The Probation Officer below has confirmed that the defendant has complied with the Petty Theft Diversion Program. Upon the above, the previously entered finding of guilty is vacated and the captioned matter is dismissed."
    I hope this helps with explanation of the exception rule. I am looking forward for any response.
     

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