Can I Become a U.S. Citizen with a Criminal Record?

Becoming a U.S. citizen is inevitably tedious and challenging. With a criminal record in tow, it may be even more so. Regardless of your history, our team of experienced Cleveland immigration lawyers is ready and equipped to help you navigate the naturalization process.

Obtain a Copy of Your Record

No matter what sort of criminal record you have, it is in your best interest to obtain a copy of it before you start the process of naturalization, so we can proactively anticipate the hurdles a criminal record may create. Understand that a criminal record does not only contain actual criminal convictions, but it also provides a log of all your interactions with law enforcement, including any instances of handcuffing, fingerprinting, riding anywhere in the back of a police car, appearances before a judge or in court, fines paid in court, probation, and any time spent in prison or jail, no matter how brief. Having a criminal record does not bar you from becoming a U.S. citizen, although it may pose new problems, which is why you need a competent immigration lawyer with a track record of success to help you navigate the infamously challenging immigration process.

Disqualifying Criminal Charges

There are a few crimes that will automatically disqualify you from proceeding with the naturalization process. These include:

  • Murder
  • Manslaughter
  • Homicide

Other aggravated felony offenses could also disqualify you from naturalization, including crimes such as:

  • Rape
  • Sexual assault
  • Drug trafficking
  • Human trafficking
  • Crimes involving explosives or arson
  • Aggravated theft

Be aware that these offenses are enough to prevent you from gaining citizenship, but they are also grounds for immediate deportation.

If you have already received a notice to appear in court or are concerned that you may be deported, do not wait to call us. You will need a knowledgeable legal team to help you understand your rights, know your options, and achieve a favorable outcome. If you are facing deportation, call (888) 491-8770 immediately.

What to Do If You Have a Criminal Record

No matter what your criminal record looks like, it is in your best interest to enlist an immigration lawyer to help you along on your path to citizenship. The naturalization process in the United States is designed to be difficult and exclusive and even non-felony offenses can cause problems for you. We are committed to minimizing the anxiety and stress you may experience while working to become a U.S. citizen and treating all of our clients with dignity, compassion, and the utmost professionalism, regardless of your background or criminal history. Call (888) 491-8770 today or schedule a confidential consultation with one of our Cleveland immigration lawyers. Let our team at Sintsirmas & Meuller Co. be your partners in making your American dream a reality.