Does sealing a criminal offense positively affect immigration status?

On January 1 of this year, a new law went into effect, Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S.) § 13-911, that allows a person to seal the arrest, conviction, and sentencing records if the person meets certain requirements. If the court grants an applicant’s request to seal the records, the person will not have to disclose that they have been arrested, charged, or convicted of a crime.

What does this mean for client’s who are not U.S. citizens? Nothing. The offense, even though a court has ordered it sealed, would still constitute a criminal conviction under immigration law, rendering a person deportable. This is because Arizona law, A.R.S. § 13-911, is narrow in its scope and immigration law defines “conviction” more broadly, in other words, differently from criminal law. While there are some criminal convictions that would not be considered “convictions” under immigration law, namely, if a court vacated the offense on due process grounds, a noncitizen would still disclose this information to immigration authorities. For more information about the Arizona law regarding sealing a prior offense and how it impacts a person’s immigration case, please contact our office.

Client Testimonials

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Thanks to the entire Rocha team who made it possible to achieve the goal of acquiring residence in the United States, giving us more than a service, they gave us hope and confidence to move forward, despite the inconveniences caused by a pandemic, they managed to adapt to all the restrictions in a professional way and revealing his extensive work experience in the end, everything has been reflected in favorable results for us.
Jonatan, Maricela
March 30th, 2023
We hired Juan Rocha back in 2015 for my husband seeking help with his immigration process and I honestly think the process would have been faster if my previous lawyer wouldn't have made the mistakes that he did (fired him) and I hired Juan Rocha, It defiantly was a process but he got it done, thanks to him my husband was able to see his parents and family after 15 years a day that my husband and I will forever hold in our hearts. Juan has a very special way of expelling things and he makes sure before you leave...
Millie Ruano
March 30th, 2023
On behalf of my family, we give appreciation and thanks to Mr. Rocha for assisting my husband to be allowed to join our family again. We were totally blindsided by the situation and when Mr. Rocha worked his magic for us, figured we wouldn't see my husband again, it was nothing less than magic to us! I have never had to deal with an attorney before so I was nervous but felt more at ease right away especially since Mr. Rocha either answered his own phone right away or was available to speak with when I called. This just made...
Juan Pedro & Doreen
July 12th, 2021

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