Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

USA Visas Merged Thread

Status
Not open for further replies.

mattoez

Newbie
Joined
May 27, 2007
Messages
2
Points
0
Hi guys,
First post, but I saw some awesome info here while browsing so I thought i'd share my little predicament.
ABout two weeks ago I was charged with the summary offence of 'offensive behaviour'. Basically a policeman told me to go home(it was 3am and I was quite drunk after a wedding', and I replied with a string of obscenities which would make a sailor blush.
I am scheduled in court for the 26th June, and plan to plead guilty. I am assuming I will recieve a conviction and criminal record for this, and am now in the fun spot of travelling to the US.
The holiday and tickets were already booked and paid, before the offence was committed, and a prepraid ticket to the value of $10 000 USD into a poker tournament.
I have read alot of posts on this topic, and just have a few last questions. My court date is 26.06.07, and we arrive in america on 03/07/07. Would the charge of even been processed this quickly. And the second question is could I enter the US on my UK passport(I was born in UK,got australian citizenship thorugh parents), and therefore avoid all problems as I have no criminal record in the UK>??
Thanks alot guys for any info or thoughts you have.
Matt
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

You would be, imo, unwise to take the risk; if you have been arrested/convicted then the safest bet would be to call the US Embassy and ask whether you need to get a visa or whether entering on a Visa Waiver is ok. If thje former, then apply for a visa

I would be surprised if they were to refuse a visa , but to turn up and risk being refused entry to the country seems a foolish risk. You have over a month which should be time enough to obtain a visa if necessary

Dave
 

alect

Member
Joined
Jun 20, 2006
Messages
352
Points
10
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

As Dave points out, what you propose may work just fine (ie there's no way the US authorities could discover your conviction in time), but the risks are high. What you would be doing is misrepresenting to the US government (ie an answer on the I94) and if you ever were discovered to have done so later, there could be grave consequences (incl being barred from the US in the future).
 

IainF

Member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
356
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

The best advice I can offer is to get yourself a solicitor ASAP.
Yes, it will cost you some money, but the ramifications are beyond that of just travelling to the USA.

Think of future jobs, where a criminal record screening may occur.

Not to be the bearer of bad tiding, but you should treat this very seriously, and offfer the court (upon your legal representatives' advice) your most heartfelt apology and request that no conviction be recorded, due to future impairment of opportunities.

Go and find the best criminal (not commercial, family or conveyancing) solicitor you can get.. and if need be, go get a barrister as well.


Better get a lawyer, son... better be a real good one....
(apologies to the Cruel Sea for theft of lyrics)

If you behave in a manner that shows you are very sorry, then you "may" come away with a reasonable outcome.

As a thought, perhaps writing a letter to the person you let loose at, offerering an apology may help a lot in court.

Cheers
IainF

CAVEAT; I am not a lawyer, never done any legal training, have not ever been arrested, but once went out with a cop......:D
 

Maca44

Established Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2005
Messages
1,303
Points
420
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

Some people might say to just run the risk, and I know of a few who even have convictions for minor summary street offences. About three years ago a friend was charged with assault outside a hotel, and despite his pleading of inocence from the onset, the charges were withdrawn two days later after further witnesses came forward and they arrested the right person.

Now, according to the Visa Waiver Program my friend would have problems entering the USA, as the Visa Waiver Program states you are unable to enter the USA under that program if you have been "arrested", so being convicted etc does not come into it. Even if you pleaded not guilty simply to get an adjournment for several months it still does not allow you to enter because of your arrest.
 

kyle

Established Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2006
Messages
1,145
Solutions
1
Points
405
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

Maca44 said:
Some people might say to just run the risk, and I know of a few who even have convictions for minor summary street offences. About three years ago a friend was charged with assault outside a hotel, and despite his pleading of inocence from the onset, the charges were withdrawn two days later after further witnesses came forward and they arrested the right person.

Now, according to the Visa Waiver Program my friend would have problems entering the USA, as the Visa Waiver Program states you are unable to enter the USA under that program if you have been "arrested", so being convicted etc does not come into it. Even if you pleaded not guilty simply to get an adjournment for several months it still does not allow you to enter because of your arrest.

I just read the requirements of the VWP, but couldn't find any mention of 'arrest' :confused:
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

kyle said:
I just read the requirements of the VWP, but couldn't find any mention of 'arrest' :confused:

On the Visa Waiver Form (I94W) it specifically asks "have you ever been arrested or convicted...."

and to contact the American Embassy BEFORE you travel to the US if you have.

The offence may well be one which will have little effect on your ability to enter the US and you may even be eligable to enter on the VW, but check with the US Embassy on how to proceed. If you don't and you did get deported, that could have a bigger impact trying to go places than the crime itself

Dave
 

serfty

Veteran Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
43,255
Solutions
5
Points
3,275
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
The "arrested or convicted" relates to the following:
  • ... for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude...
  • ... violation related to a controlled substance
  • ... two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more

Here is the full text:
I94W said:
Have you ever been arrested or convicted for an offense or crime involving moral turpitude or a violation related to a controlled substance; or been arrested or convicted for two or more offenses for which the aggregate sentence to confinement was five years or more; or been a controlled substance trafficker; or are you seeking to engage in criminal or immoral activities ...

It really comes down to an interpretation of the meaning of "moral turpitude".

See this post: VISA WAIVER PROGRAM TO USA
 

Dave Noble

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 10, 2005
Messages
6,419
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

serfty said:
It really comes down to an interpretation of the meaning of "moral turpitude".

See this post: VISA WAIVER PROGRAM TO USA

Indeed. But since moral turpitude covers quite a wide range, with any arrest I would recommend checking with the Embassy; if they say that it is ok and that use of a VW is acceptable then no harm done ( just a bit of time wasted checking ) or if they say that it does require a visa then go with it

So many things come under moral turpitude

Dave
 

simongr

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 10, 2006
Messages
14,426
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

And even searching for a definition of moral turpitude doesnt make it clearer:

Answers.com says this:

A phrase used in criminal law to describe conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty, or good morals.

Crimes involving moral turpitude have an inherent quality of baseness, vileness, or depravity with respect to a person's duty to another or to society in general. Examples include rape, forgery, robbery, and solicitation by prostitutes.

I personally think it is vile to serve a steak any more cooked than medium rare but people have their own personal standards ;)

However a little more exploration gives us this from Wiktionary

These two quotes not only reflect the severity of the offence but also that it is not just the crimes above (so my steak analogy might sneak in).

Quotations
1836 The Punishment of Death: A Selection of Articles from the Morning Herald
Here we see that both Lord TENTERDEN and Lord WYNFORD apply the test of moral turpitude to crime when considering the degree of punishment that ought to be annexed to it.
1998 Charles Jeszeck - Child Labor in Agriculture
In fact, one view expressed at the time was that work on the farm was free from the moral turpitude of city sweatshops and that farm labor taught children valuable lessons and skills
 
Trying to access your favourite Australian websites when overseas only to discover they have been geo-blocked? Concerned about your internet privacy especially when using unsecured wifi? NordVPN will solve both these common problems.

Recommended by the Australian Frequent Flyer

vt01

Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
374
Points
10
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

IainF said:
The best advice I can offer is to get yourself a solicitor ASAP.
Yes, it will cost you some money, but the ramifications are beyond that of just travelling to the USA.

Think of future jobs, where a criminal record screening may occur.

Not to be the bearer of bad tiding, but you should treat this very seriously, and offfer the court (upon your legal representatives' advice) your most heartfelt apology and request that no conviction be recorded, due to future impairment of opportunities.

Go and find the best criminal (not commercial, family or conveyancing) solicitor you can get.. and if need be, go get a barrister as well.


Better get a lawyer, son... better be a real good one....
(apologies to the Cruel Sea for theft of lyrics)

If you behave in a manner that shows you are very sorry, then you "may" come away with a reasonable outcome.

As a thought, perhaps writing a letter to the person you let loose at, offerering an apology may help a lot in court.

Cheers
IainF

CAVEAT; I am not a lawyer, never done any legal training, have not ever been arrested, but once went out with a cop......:D
This is very good advice. It may seem simpler and cheaper to go to court and just plead guilty but the implications of having a conviction recorded are wide ranging.
I was once in a similar situation (different charge) but it eventually cost quite a bit. I ended up pleading guilty but had no conviction recorded under the first offences act (You only get to use this once).
I am so incredibly happy I spent the thousands of dollars.. A lesson well learned.. Make sure you get plenty of character references and especially ones that say it is out of character for you. and good luck
 

IainF

Member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
356
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

I also meant t add, that under certain state legislation, a conviction, may be "spent" after a certain period of time.
What this means (and again, I aint no lawyerman..) is that you may no longer have that conviction recorded against your record.
In Qld this can be 10 years, but I think you must have no other convictions and you may have to apply to the court for this ruling.

That is a long time to wait....

Get a Silk.

Cheers
IainF
 

serfty

Veteran Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
43,255
Solutions
5
Points
3,275
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum

IainF

Member
Joined
May 2, 2007
Messages
356
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

Good job Serfty..
I knew I had read about that somewhere!
Cheers
IainF
 

mattoez

Newbie
Joined
May 27, 2007
Messages
2
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

thanks for all the helpful replies guys...
Yeh the future consequences will be quite severe even for such a minor offence if a conviction is recorded. I have had an appointment with a criminal lawyer, and have been advised to plead guilty, with as mentioned earlier, my best apologetic hat on.
The worst thing regarding this trip is that there is close to 20 000 USD of non refundable expenses already incurred...alot of money for a full time uni student...Not looking for sympathy, it was totally self inflicted...
Anyway, I will wait and see the outcome of the case on the 26th of June, and go from there...At this stage, I cant see anyway around it, the US embassy was highly unco-operative, they basically demanded my ID when just trying to make an enquiry, I wasnt falling for that one, thats for sure!! :)
THanks again for the help...I will let you guys know how my US vacation turns out..! I guess a couple of weeks in camp XRAy may also be considered a vacation!
Matt
 

robertz

Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Messages
134
Points
0
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

Biggest problem you have is the time period between offense and going, is very short. If it was 5-10 years ago, there could be a defense if they question it.

Saying that, and I no way endorse breaking a law or a condition of entry into a country, but I don’t think the US data-matching checks if every passenger has a very low level 'arrest' or 'conviction' against them to see if they are eligible to enter the US. (Obvious exemptions here)
They rely on the passenger to answer the question, they don’t already know the answer and check if you’re being truthful.

I had a DUI arrest/conviction (10 years ago) and never said anything about it. J and H visa, no problems.... Entered the US on VW many times, no problem....

One thing I learned living in the US for 3 years, don’t open the can of worms, unless U want to eat them... :(

BIG BIG Disclaimer goes here.....

Rob
 

serfty

Veteran Member
Moderator
Joined
Nov 16, 2004
Messages
43,255
Solutions
5
Points
3,275
Qantas
Platinum
Virgin
Platinum
I will reiterate -after 10 years the Australian government is prevented by law from supplying information to a third party relating to convictions which are 'spent' or 'passed' (except for those of a 'sexual nature' or resulted in a jail term of six months or more).

Disclaimer, this might not prevent a government entity from doing so, inadvertently or otherwise.
 
Last edited:

ozstamps

Active Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2003
Messages
887
Points
320
Virgin
Platinum
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

Go get an I94 Green form now.fill it out and date it the day BEFORE the trial.

You are then not lying then to say you have none.

The dropkicks in US will not notice the date on it. Keep them talking about baseball land the high price of gas. Act like Pa Kettle and be dumb. You are home free.

ALL Americans care more about the price of gas than any misdemenour you have here. :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea:
 

thatwouldbher

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
18
Points
5
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

hi y'all,
"moral turpitude" is a term that is used over here in USA for anything related to an offence or arrest. These days your criminal past follows you to the USA. I had a friend recently deported back to Australia 12 hours after she arrived here because she was not aware of what "moral turpitude" meant. She never left the LAX airport until her departure the same night she arrived.

She was advised to contact the US embassy in Sydney and apply for a visa to come here as she cannot be and will not be admitted under the visa waiver program.

So my advice to anyone entering the USA with any type of history to contact the US Enbassy/Consul in your country and get a visa. Also regarding the passport, to get back into Australia I believe it would be best to use your Aussie passport therefore to arrive into USA you would be best to use your aussie passport also otherwise your visa would be in one passport and you may have problems leaving USA using 2 different passports. I was always advised if you arrive into a country on one passport use the same one to leave on.

Hopes this info helps you!

Cheers
 

thatwouldbher

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
18
Points
5
Re: US with CRIMINAL RECORD, AUS/UK passports

ozstamps said:
Go get an I94 Green form now.fill it out and date it the day BEFORE the trial.

You are then not lying then to say you have none.

The dropkicks in US will not notice the date on it. Keep them talking about baseball land the high price of gas. Act like Pa Kettle and be dumb. You are home free.

ALL Americans care more about the price of gas than any misdemenour you have here. :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea: :idea:

I cant beleive you have said this.. This is totally not true... immigration officials in USA are NOT that easy to get along with!! as I have said go to Embassy and apply for a visa, in case an Embassy official says its ok to enter on a visa waiver and in USA they say its not. The I-94 must be signed and dated the day you enter into USA anyway and wont be accepted a week or more beforehand!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Community Statistics

Threads
86,624
Messages
2,101,231
Members
53,926
Latest member
pas024
Top