As a person looking to become a U.S. citizen, whether currently or in the future, you know the importance of following state and federal law. Still, a lapse of judgement that results in a criminal conviction that can destroy your chances with the immigration process. You may not qualify to apply to become a citizen or may be at risk of deportation.
There are alternatives that make still allow you to continue or initiate the immigration process, despite having a criminal record. However, the eligibility and procedural rules require the assistance of a qualified attorney who has considerable experience in dealing with tough immigration authorities. Jonathan Minkus is a skilled lawyer who has served many clients in your position, helping them overcome legal challenges created by a past criminal conviction. Your options will depend on the results of a thorough case assessment at our Wheeling location, but some general information is a good start.
If you have a criminal record in your home country or in the U.S., you are designated as “inadmissible” under immigration law. Even if you went through the legal process of expungement or record sealing, you cannot legally enter the U.S. Exceptions apply if you were under 18 when convicted and the incident was more than five years ago, or if the offense was a petty crime.
There are two types of waivers that you may seek to remove inadmissibility status, depending on your legal status as a non-immigrant or immigrant:
With more than 33 years practicing law under his belt, Jonathan Minkus has amassed considerable legal knowledge in the area of post-conviction relief. Much of his experience has been helping the Wheeling immigrant community avoid deportation and continue their efforts to become U.S. citizens, even after a criminal conviction. Plus, Mr. Minkus spent years with the Illinois State’s Attorney’s office, so he has an in-depth understanding of criminal law and court procedure.
If you’d like more information on how post-conviction remedies work in the immigration process, a case analysis is the first step. Please contact us today at (847) 966-0300 to discuss your situation or schedule a free consultation at one of our convenient locations to discuss your matter in more detail.
Senior Partner Jonathan Minkus has successfully defended individuals charged with every conceivable criminal offense, from traffic misdemeanors to death-penalty eligible homicides.