A criminal record can cause you problems for years – even decades – during a routine criminal background check for employment or housing, or for an immigration application. Expungement is a chance for a fresh start. Under Illinois law, you could be eligible to have your criminal record expunged (destroyed) or sealed so that no one can access it. If your criminal record is expunged, it will no longer show up in police or court records during a criminal background check.
If you are applying for naturalization to become a U.S. citizen and you have an expungement and are applying for immigration benefits and are asked if you have ever been arrested and about your criminal history by an immigration official you must reveal your criminal history even if it is expunged or sealed. You should consult an experienced criminal defense and immigration attorney on how to proceed in your situation.
If your criminal record has been expunged and you are applying for naturalization, under no circumstances should you ever lie to an immigration officer. Deliberately lying to the U.S. government is grounds for your immigration application to be denied. If you are worried that something in your background could cause your application to be denied, consult an experienced immigration lawyer to advise you on how to handle your naturalization interview.
A criminal charge or conviction can be devastating to your immigration case. In some instances, it may mean the end of your ability to remain in the United States. It is vital that you hire an experienced crimmigration attorney who understands both immigration and criminal defense law. Crimmigration is the practice of criminal defense law for immigrants and non-citizens by lawyers who understand the immigration consequences of criminal convictions.
At Godoy Law Office, we understand the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Our attorneys are experienced in both criminal and immigration law. If you’re an immigrant who has been charged or convicted of a crime, contact our immigration and criminal defense lawyers at 630-912-0322.