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Worried about USA Travel

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mike307

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i have booked & paid for travel on United Airlines & 2 tours & all hotels to the states for August this year. I have been reading how tough it is to enter the USA now. 12 years ago i did something really stupid & was chaged with theft, discharge of a missile, unlawful entry & willful damage. When i went to court i pleaded guilty & was found guilty & fined $400 but without conviction. I have never been in trouble with the law since. I went to the UK & paris in September 2000 without any problems. Will these old charges stop me from entering the US & should i cancel my trip?
 

QF WP

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mike307, The most important 2 words in your message were "not convicted".

"Have you ever been convicted...." - isn't that the way the question is asked on the USA Waiver Form (and the same on the Australian Arrival card and many others around the world).

I agree with Rossmurdoch, that would be the sensible approach to check. Better to play it safe than sorry.
 
G

Guest

those US forms are very intimidating!!!

how many others have been standing in the immigration line in LA reading over the form again and again and again and again for mistakes?
they make me paranoid!
 

Rick93

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Whilst I haven't read the forms (lately), does it mention the term: 'In the previous ten (10) years.....'

This is the standard for most government employment in NSW. The Criminal Records Act, 1990 states, that you DO NOT have to declare to any employer (except police employment) if you have a record of offences past ten years. There are usually exclusions for sexual offences against children. This means you MUST declare ANY offence against children.....

Ask the US Consulate about the 'ten year rule'....

regards,
 

drron

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If no conviction was recorded then you should have no problems.Check with a court officer first to see whether there is a record of your offence.
I have never had a problem with US immigration.I usually tell them how glad I am to be back and they are generally onside then.Remember they are just human with a job to do and if you make it pleasant for them you will usually be treated well.
 

Alan in CBR

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I happen to have an I-94W USA Visa Waiver Form in front of me. It was current last November - I don't imagine it has changed.

One question states:

"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 entry to engage in criminal or immoral activities?" (bolding mine, don't know if this relates to your situation.)

Covers a lot of ground there, and note the "have you ever" and the "arrested or convicted" bits. If in doubt I would contact the American Embassy.
 

QF WP

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Welcome to AFF, Alan in CBR - recognise that handle anywhere. Another refugee from FT-induced exile. But know that exile is now officially over :D
 

thadocta

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Exile might be officially over, but that means you can get FT to load. I can't get it to, and when I do it is painfully slow. :(

Back to the original question though, I am having a hard time believing that ANY court would not impose a conviction on someone found guilty of "theft, discharge of a missile, unlawful entry & willful damage", no matter how good their previous record is. I don't think we are being told the full story here.

Dave
 

straitman

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Exile might be officially over, but that means you can get FT to load. I can't get it to, and when I do it is painfully slow.
The speed issues appear to have resolved this afternoon. :D :D :D
 

mike307

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thadocta said:
Exile might be officially over, but that means you can get FT to load. I can't get it to, and when I do it is painfully slow. :(

Back to the original question though, I am having a hard time believing that ANY court would not impose a conviction on someone found guilty of "theft, discharge of a missile, unlawful entry & willful damage", no matter how good their previous record is. I don't think we are being told the full story here.

Dave
thadocta

What reason would i have to lie ? I am not seeking your judgement Dave, just advice. Why would i seek advice and not give the full story. By not giving the full story i would get the wrong advice which would only hurt me.

Thanks everyone for your help. I have looked at the American Embassy-Melbourne wesite & it says any findings of guilt or conviction regardless of how long ago, I will need to apply for a visa before i leave. I would be worried sick on the flight over not knowing if i would be let in also one my tours takes us to Mexico for a day & i would hate to be stuck there. :D
 

QF WP

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mike307, I am sure this probably happened when you were a teenager and it is a time you look back on with a tinge of regret for the youthful exuberance. Best of luck with the Visa, I still don't consider it a problem - as you said, you want to fully disclose it now to ensure it doesn't come back and bite you down the track.

thadocta, if it was his first offence and whilst he was a teenager, presumably courts were a little more lenient - like none of us were angels back then - okay, even I stole from the corner shop (but I was never caught ;)). Other times I got the cane at school - but I grew up learning from my mistakes :roll:
 

thadocta

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Lindsay, I do not know where Mike is from, but the relevant NSW law is the Crimes (Sentencing Procedures) Act 1999. s.10 gives the sentencing officer the ability to record a finding of guilt without recording a conviction. The relevant section is at http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/nsw/consol_act/cpa1999278/s10.html and as you can see it needs to be a trivial offence in order for this section to be invoked. I would submit that a series of charges involving discharging a missle, theft, unlawful entry and wilful damage would not normally be regarded as trivial.

I am not doubting Mike here though, just doubting his recollection of what actually happened on his day in court. I would be making further inquiries if I was him.

Dave
 

QF WP

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Dave (since we're on first name terms here :D ), I cannot fault your argument on a misdemeanour that occcured in NSW since the Act became law (1999). What it appears that you are missing is that it happened:

mike307 said:
12 years ago
This being the case, irrespective of which State mike307 lives, it is likely that the current legislation at that point of time when his misdemeanour occured (circa 1992) would have been far more lenient than today's law in NSW (or probably in most States for that matter, without having had the opportunity to research the relevant statues).

I'm sure that after the healthy debate, mike307 will make sure that he checks out everything before he leaves.
 

thadocta

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Prior to the new act coming in to force, the equivalent section in NSW was s.556a of the Crimes Act (no longer available on line, or at least nowhere that I know of) and it had much the same language regarding when it could be applied.

Having done cursory glances at the equivalent legislation in other states, they appear to say much the same thing, namely that the offence must be trivial before it can be bought in to play, and I would not regard the offences listed as trivial. If they were, then I would regard it as a GROSS over-charging by the police (who I am now, in my new job, extremely close to). If it was a case of the police OVER-charging, then no problem. If I was the OP though, I would be doing some checks before applying for the visa, before I gave the Yanks any information I didn't have to.

Dave
 

Alan in CBR

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Apr 2, 2004
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Just wanted to pop back in to thank Lindsay/QF WP for the welcome. Idiot that I am, I only thought to come to AFF as the new FT was about to come on line. I haven't had much of a chance to visit FT and it is unusably slow again this morning.

mike307, I think you have made a very wise decision to apply for a visa. I am very risk-averse when it comes to travel and since you have plenty of time before your trip it makes sense. All the best with your application - if nothing else it will save you lots of stress down the track.
 
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