Not all individuals convicted of a crime are hardened, violent criminals. Many people with a record are average citizens that made a mistake. Unfortunately, if you’re seeking to become a U.S. citizen or currently in the immigration process, the consequences can make you ineligible. Worse, you may be at risk of deportation for the crime.
However, your criminal record doesn’t have to act as a bar to becoming a U.S. citizen. The law provides you with alternatives, though the legal requirements and proceedings are complex. An experienced lawyer can help you work through the process. Attorney Jonathan Minkus has helped many clients like you work with immigration officials to overcome the legal hurdles involved when you have a criminal history. A comprehensive case assessment at our Buffalo Grove office would be necessary to determine your options, but here is some background information you need to know.
When you are convicted of a crime in your home land or on U.S. soil, immigration authorities will consider you to be “inadmissible” for purposes of entering the country. This status applies even if you obtained post-conviction relief to hide or erase your criminal past. However, there are exceptions to this harsh rule. It’s possible to overcome the inadmissible status if you were under 18 years of age when you committed the crime and the conviction was more than five years ago. In addition, some petty offenses may still make you eligible to enter the U.S.
There is a waiver process under U.S. immigration law, but there are two different processes that apply:
For more than 33 years, attorney Jonathan Minkus has dedicated much of his legal practice to helping the Buffalo Grove immigrant community obtain different types of post-conviction remedies. In situations where a client would otherwise be barred from applying for U.S. citizenship or live in fear of deportation, he has opened up opportunities. Mr. Minkus also served with the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office, gaining considerable experience that carries over into post-conviction relief cases.
If you’d like to explore remedies that will benefit the immigration despite a criminal conviction, please contact our offices today at (847) 966-0300. We’ll start by scheduling a case evaluation to review the facts in your case and determine the best options for you. We look forward to hearing from you.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.