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Joshua
Joshua, Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 31679
Experience:  LL.B (Hons), Higher Prof. Dip. Law & Practice
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I have a minor conviction of common assault and criminal

Customer Question

Hi I have a minor conviction of common assault and criminal damage it has been over 5 years and no received no jail time will I be allowed entry into America? Thanks
JA: Were these criminal or civil charges?
Customer: Civil was.convvted in a civil court
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer about this sentencing issue?
Customer: No
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: I have received a fixed penalty notice for possession of a small amount of marijuana and that was it
Submitted: 14 days ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

Hello and thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practising lawyer in England with over 15 years’ experience. Please be aware that although I will endeavour to reply to you promptly, I am also in full time private practice and so I may not be available to respond immediately and it may also take me a few minutes to prepare a reply. The site will notify you as soon as I respond. I look forward to working with you to answer your question fully.

Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

May I confirm if you have amde any application for an ESTA to date please?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
I have applied for an esta today
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

thank you. Have you received an outcome yet?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Not yet should receive a reply with 3-5 working days was not sure whether they would take this into account or if I would be refused entry upon arrival at jfk
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

thank you. Did you declare the convictions on the ESTA application?

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
No
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Was unsure whether my conviction Still stands as it has been cleared if my record in this country
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

thank you. This is a difficult issue and a very common quandary. The short answer is that according to the advice provided by the US embassy, if  you have ever been convicted of any crime or arrested other than when you are a minor or in relation to a minor motoring offence, then you should declare this and this will make you ineligible to travel under the Visa waiver program. For this reason, it will not surprise you that many people choose not to do so.

there is no such concept as the rehabilitation of offenders act in the US and as such, offences do not expire even if they are minor. Generally, unless the offence related to serious damage to property or harm to another individual, the offence would not generally bar you from travel to the US but would require you to attend the embassy for an interview for a Visa which clearly increases the burden upon you in order to travel to the US.

Accordingly, broadly you have the choice between declaring the offences as is strictly required or failing to do so in the hope that they will not be discovered. The US authorities do not have routine access to conviction data from the police national computer and as such, there is no particular reason the US authorities would be aware of any relatively minor offences but they have the right to request a criminal conviction data if they are unhappy with the application that has been made which you would then have to either provide or face being denied entry there again, this obviously is not a routine enquiry

Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Ok thanks for your help, appreciate your time
Customer: replied 14 days ago.
Last question is there any possibility my esta would be approved and upon arrival at jfk they would refuse entry because of my previous?
Expert:  Joshua replied 14 days ago.

it is possible but as above, it is not overly likely for the reason we discussed above that they do not have routine  access to the police national computer data, unless for some reason you are flagged for some unrelated reason and formally interviewed by an immigration officer which may inadvertently reveal the above issue if for example as part of that interview they request conviction information as a condition of entry.

Expert:  Joshua replied 13 days ago.

I hope the above is of some assistance but if you have any further questions, please revert to me.

Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.
I trust the above was of assistance and that you do not have any follow up questions for now. If there is anything else I can help with please reply back to me though.

Customer: replied 12 days ago.
thank you for your help, I appreciate your time, I certainly will,many thanks
Expert:  Joshua replied 12 days ago.

I'm glad the above answers all your questions for now. If you have any follow up questions please revert to me.

Expert:  Joshua replied 11 days ago.
I hope I was able to answer your question. If you would like to ask me another question in the future, you can add me as a favourite Expert. You'll have the option to do that on your "My Questions" page if you choose to rate our interaction or you can request me by name if you wish. Thank you again for visiting JustAnswer and see you again in the future I hope.