Is it safe for a permanent resident to take a vacation & Re-enter the US with an old embezzlement conviction? 4 Answers as of May 31, 2011

I have a 20-year-old conviction for embezzlement when I was 18. I was a permanent resident alien of 11 years before that. I received probation and besides traffic tickets, no other criminal issues since then. I really want to go on vacation outside the US but heard horror stories that I might end up on USCIS radar and risk being arrested and deported when I re-enter or sometime after that. I am working on getting the charges reduced, dismissed and/or expunged. Is it safe to leave the country or take a cruise? Can I be given notice to end up in immigration court when I return once they check my status?

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World Esquire Law Firm
World Esquire Law Firm | Aime Katambwe
Embezzlement is a crime that involves moral turpitude (CIMT) but it is not an aggravated felony. If you were charged with a felony, then you should think about whether this is worth the trouble. Let me say that ultimately even if you were brought up for removal, you would prevail since the offense is so old and I will assume that you are rehabilitated from that incident in that you have no other blemishes on your record; especially other offenses dealing with embezzlement. I also believe that the roots you have established in the US are solid enough to anchor you here (I am thinking waiver). I think you will have a lot "good" vs. "bad" acts in your history since that incident and that will help you. Back to your question, is it safe? If I were in your shoes and this were the only thing in my record, then I would say yes. But it is up to you to look at your entire criminal history and make that call. Good luck!
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 5/31/2011
Verdin Law Firm, LLC
Verdin Law Firm, LLC | Isaul Verdin
You run the high risk of being placed in removal proceedings upon your return. We need to analyze defenses so you can be adequately prepared. You need to face this problem and get it fixed before you travel. Feel free to call our office so we can properly advise you.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/27/2011
Calderón Seguin PLC
Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
Do not travel without seeing an experienced immigration attorney. Criminal convictions are always a potential problem no matter how old they are.
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 5/27/2011
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law
Eric M. Mark, Attorney at Law | Eric Mark
Yes, you could be detained upon your return. Based on your facts, you would likely have defenses available to the deportation charge, but there is a good chance you would be placed into removal proceedings upon your return. You may be able to naturalize and become a citizen, which would alleviate these problems. I recommend speaking with an immigration lawyer.
Answer Applies to: New Jersey
Replied: 5/27/2011
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