Do I need a lawyer to apply for citizenship if I have speeding traffic tickets and a juvenile criminal record that is now closed?

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Do I need a lawyer to apply for citizenship if I have speeding traffic tickets and a juvenile criminal record that is now closed?

When I was a minor, I had a few run-ins with the law when I was 17 but the record has been sealed. However I’ve turned my life around. I have also received 2 speeding tickets within the past year. Do I still qualify? I’ve been a permanent resident gor 9 years but I’ve moved about 4 times since then. Is that illegal? I wasn’t aware that I was supposed to report all my address changes( I just recently read that on line).

Asked on May 31, 2012 under Immigration Law, California

Answers:

Meghan Abigail / Abigail Law Firm, PLLC

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I agree with my colleague that an attorney would need to review your exact record to accurately assess your situation.Unfortunately, sealing the record does not really help with immigration, BUT it could be relevant that you were a juvenile. Depending on your exact record, you could be deportable so I advise meeting with an experienced attorney to review everything. For citizenship, it is also relevant how long ago the brushes with the law took place- you should typically wait five years after the last incident in order to show good moral character during that time period. Speeding tickets should be paid or on a payment plan. You can just go online and update your address if you want to get in compliance...but you might want to wait to review your record with an immigration attorney first.

Good luck!

Harun Kazmi / Kazmi and Sakata Attorneys at Law

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Hello, yes, you must update your address, but if you do not, they generally do not care. Your "run-ins" with the law would need to be evaluated to determine if they make you removable or disqualify your citizenship application.  Your speeding tickets should not be an issue. You should contact a lawyer to discuss your other crimes for clarification.


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