Criminal Records

Felonies and Misdemeanors

If you want to apply for Deferred Action you must request your criminal record by taking a criminal background check. You need your criminal record in order to prove that you have not been convicted of any felony, significant misdemeanor or multiple minor misdemeanors.

What offenses qualify as a felony?

  • A felony is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.

What is a “significant misdemeanor”?

  • A significant misdemeanor is a federal, state, or local criminal offense punishable by no more than one year of imprisonment or even no imprisonment that involves: violence, threats, or assault, including domestic violence; sexual abuse or exploitation; burglary, larceny, or fraud; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI); obstruction of justice or bribery; unlawful flight from arrest, prosecution, or the scene of an accident; unlawful possession or use of a firearm; drug distribution or trafficking; or unlawful possession of drugs. Many of these crimes can subject you to mandatory detention. Do not assume that your misdemeanor conviction is not a serious misdemeanor.

How many minor misdemeanors constitute “multiple misdemeanors”?

  • An individual who is not convicted of a significant misdemeanor but is convicted of three or more other misdemeanors not occurring on the same day and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct is not eligible to be considered for deferred action under this new process.

Public Safety Threat, National Security Threat

In addition, a person who immigration authorities consider a “public safety threat” or a “national security threat” will be barred.

What could count as a “public safety threat”?

  • It could be that officials will look behind dismissed charges or juvenile delinquency adjudications to determine whether a person presents a public safety threat.  Juvenile delinquency adjudications any connections with gang activity or any action where the police stopped you and asked questions about gangs or gang membership any arrest or dismissed charge.

What could count as a “national security threat”?

  • The Department of Homeland Security broadly characterizes “participation in activities that threaten the United States” as a national security threat. This means it will not be limited to criminal convictions.

How do I obtain my criminal record?

  • Get a copy of your record from whatever court your case was heard, including all juvenile delinquency adjudications. Try to get copies of police reports, a criminal history background check, or your “rap sheet.” Many states already have systems for you to collect your criminal history.  In many cases, you can find it on your local county website or state government websites. Make sure you get them from all states where you believe you may have been arrested or convicted.
  • Meet with a nonprofit organization, an immigration attorney or advocate experienced in deportation defense or the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. Make sure they review all your arrest information and criminal conviction documents. Do NOT consult “Notarios” if you have a criminal history.

Contact a Florida Immigration Attorney to help you obtain your criminal record.


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