Getting arrested can have harsh consequences for anyone, but it’s especially hard on those immigrants going through the naturalization process in the U.S.A. While they could remain physically present in the country, their citizenship application will no longer be relevant or valid. If they are arrested, they will be treated as undocumented and therefore run the risk of being deported. While it is always recommended that you seek out an experienced defense attorney after being arrested, it is almost more critical for these immigrants since their entire future in the country could hang in the balance.
Conviction vs. Arrest:
Regardless of your immigration status, the difference between an arrest and a conviction is the same. An arrest will always mean you have been detained under the suspicion that you have committed a crime. It is important to note that this detention is based on probable cause and not that you are guilty. The conviction is when the state can prove beyond a doubt that you are indeed guilty. Some examples of arrests/actions that can take place without trust are:
Case settlement via probation, you are established as delinquent through juvenile court, you were tried and acquitted due to lack of evidence, or charges that were pressed were dropped due to lack of evidence.
As you undergo the naturalization process, you must disclose all prior arrest convictions, citations, or detentions you have received before your application. Remember that one of the application process’s main goals is to prove that you are of good moral character and have had an excellent record to prove this over the past five years. The officials can go back as far as ten years, but a solid 5 is a good rule of thumb.