Can I have my sale of narcotics charge expunged and get US citizenship? 11 Answers as of January 31, 2011

I have a charge from 2002 of sale of narcotics, I got 3 year probation and some community service but no time served. I lived an honest and upright life ever since, I am thinking of getting a lawyer to expunge the case then try to get citizenship. I have a green card right now , is it possible to get citizenship ?

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Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
As to your remedy for the sales charge, you are eligible for an expungement under Penal Code section 1203.4 just as anyone else who successfully completes probation. You can then say that you were not convicted of a crime on state job application and the like. You need to address the citizenship question to an immigration lawyer.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/26/2011
Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
Depending on where you live you should speak with an immigration lawyer before you spend money on an expungement. An excellent one in SF is Phil Levin whose email address is: ; I have misplaced his phone number but he will be listed in SF information or look him up on the internet. If you are near SF, he is the guy to go to. If you are far away email him as he might be able to recommend someone in your area. I can do the expungment if it will make a difference for ICE purposes. If it doesn't don't spend the money. Again if you are in the Bay Area I can do it for you and if elsewhere I can recommend a good criminal lawyer for these purposes BUT BEFORE DOING ANYTHING CONTACT AN IMMIGRATION LAWYER.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Nelson & Lawless
Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
The general rules and guidelines are:

Records are forever, and priors may count as 'strikes' in future charges.

However, many felony and misdemeanor convictions [not infractions] can sometimes be 'expunged' from criminal records by proper application and Petition to the court, but only if there was no prison time served, or even sentenced and reduced to probation, if it was not for certain sex and Domestic Violence crimes, if all terms of sentencing and probation [and at least one year of probation] are completed and finished, and if there are no new charges pending. If successful, the conviction would be retroactively reduced to a misdemeanor and then withdrawn and the charges dismissed. That does not 'remove' the conviction, but merely changes the record to show 'conviction reversed and dismissed by expungement'. When applying for a job in the private sector, you generally do not have to disclose a conviction if it was expunged. However, the conviction is still a 'prior' or 'strike' for purposes of repeat offense, and must be disclosed on any application for government and professional employment and licensing, bonding, security clearance, etc. The licensing agency and employer then can decide whether you are barred from licensing and employment because of your conviction.

As you can see, prison sentencing bars you from expungement. If you were actually sentenced to prison, but put on probation in lieu, you are not able to get expungement. If you were NOT sentenced to prison, you can. If that is the case, then contact me if serious about seeking this. If you are not certain, then get out your court paperwork, or go to the court clerks office and pull your file.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP
Goodman, Dicus, and Teinert, LLP | Paul M. Teinert
So long as you have paid all fines, completed probation and are not being currently prosecuted for any other crimes an attorney can definitely help you get your conviction expunged. There are some great attorney run websites out there that can assist you with your expungement via the web and for a fraction of the cost.

My advice is to check out www.qiklaw.com. This particular site is run by attorneys and is very efficient at obtaining expungements anywhere in the state of CA. Feel free to contact our office with any further questions.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf
Law Offices of Lawrence Wolf | Lawrence Wolf
We can certainly expunge your case, and an immigration attorney will help with citizenship Give us a call.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    If it was a felony, you need to hire a lawyer to first do a 17b motion to reduce it to a misdemeanor and, once that is granted, the lawyer can petition the court to expunge the misdemeanor. If it was plead as a misdemeanor, then the attorney can proceed straight to the expungement petition. Since this occurred so long ago, you have a pretty good chance of success.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott
    The Law Office of Stacey Wolcott | Stacey Wolcott
    As far as expunging the case, that is definitely something that you should seek if you want to obtain citizenship. If your conviction was for a felony you might also seek a reduction from a felony to a misdemeanor under PC 17(b). As far as the citizenship, you would most likely need to speak to an immigration attorney to see how this will affect you.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy
    Law Offices of Ryan P. Murphy | Ryan P. Murphy
    Yes, you can have your record expunged in order to apply for citizenship. First of all, this sounds like a felony. This makes your case a little tougher than a misdemeanor. If it was a misdemeanor, you might be able to take care of this matter yourself. Considering you would like to expunge your record in order to apply for citizenship, hire a private attorney to make sure everything is done correctly. You do not want your application for citizenship to be denied because of a trivial defect that could happen when individuals represent themselves. This will cost you time and money.

    Should you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact my office at your earliest convenience.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Yes it is possible to do both. You will want to have your record expunged prior to applying for citizenship. Many attorneys will be able to assist you with this.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
    Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
    Under the current law in U.S. Court of Appeal, 9th Circuit, a misdemeanor simple drug possession conviction that is expunged is generally not considered for immigration purposes. However, felony drug convictions or convictions that involve more than simple possession (ex. possession for sale), even if expunged, can result in you being found deportable. The USCIS will frequently put N-400 applicants whom they believe are deportable into removal proceedings. If they do, then can deny your N-400 merely because they put you in removal proceedings. You need to speak to an immigrant attorney before your file for naturalization and also before you take any action regarding the conviction.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/24/2011
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