Would an arrest affect my green card application? 2 Answers as of April 22, 2017

I had a fight with my wife one year ago. I was so angry and I felt that I can't control myself anymore so I made a mistake and called the police. They arrested me for family violence for one day. After that, I met with the prosecutor and he offered me a conditional dismissal by taking 6 educational classes so it won't affect my immigration as he told me, I did agree with that. I took the classes then the case was dismissed for the want of prosecutor. I don't have green card yet and I did apply for the green card one month ago. I told them about that arrest in the application and I am worried.

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Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Your question requires an attorney consultation. It is not a simple question that can be answered on this type of forum. There are many factors that would need to be considered and evaluated. The main issue is the terms of the conditional dismissal. Was this a pre-plea deal? Did you have to plead to the charges first and then have the charges dismissed after completing the program? Did you consult with an attorney, preferably an immigration and criminal defense attorney prior to taking the deal? Since we do not have all the facts, it is impossible to give a meaningful answers. Family violence or Domestic Violence cases are tricky from an immigration standpoint and can have consequences including being deportable and being inadmissible.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/22/2017
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C.
Frazier, Soloway & Poorak, P.C. | David Nabow Soloway
As strange as it may seem, there are some dismissals of criminal cases that can be treated as "convictions" by the USCIS, and there are some offenses clearly identified in statutes as misdemeanors that can be treated as felonies by the USCIS. Some processes by which a criminal case can be dismissed include types of pretrial diversion where the accused is required to formally acknowledge the elements of the offense. In an immigration application process, an applicant must provide court-certified disposition documents for criminal arrests so that, among other things, the USCIS adjudicating officer can determine whether such an acknowledgement took place. If you had been represented by an immigration attorney in preparing and filing the application, that attorney would have reviewed the disposition documents and then would have been able to advise you about this issue, including advising of any steps that might be taken following that dismissal and before filing your application. Additionally, if you were represented by a criminal defense attorney in connection with your arrest, that attorney could have advised you about potential steps to circumvent immigration ramifications. At this late stage, it still may be wise for you to engage an immigration attorney who could review the disposition documents and address the complex issues of immigration-related consequences of criminal matters.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/21/2017
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