INS and Prior Record

Question: “I received two misdemeanors for shoplifting in 1969 and 1977. The judge mentioned after probation, he would seal and expunge my records. I do not wish to reveal this information on a citizenship application when asked about moral character. Please advise.”

Answer: It’s unlikely, though, not impossible that your convictions would have been expunged on a judge’s own motion. However, and you’ll want to confirm this with an immigration attorney, generally speaking, expungements do not result in the same benefits to a noncitizen. There are a host of other possible remedies to non-citizens who are seeking to clear records. For further information, contact an immigration attorney to confirm whether, despite the convictions possibly being expunged in the past, they still must be disclosed.

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    Jesse P. Duran
    Lancaster, CA Attorney Jesse P. Duran is bilingual in both English and Spanish. He graduated from the California State University of Northridge (CSUN) with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Business Law. He continued his education at Pepperdine University School of Law in Malibu, California, graduating with his juris doctorate and passing the California Bar in 2006. After working in the District Attorney’s Office in Van Nuys, he went into private practice in ...
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