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If you have to go to court…

Most of us think about arrests as a dramatic event involving handcuffs and going to jail, but that’s often not the case. A better rule of thumb: if you had to go to court, you were arrested. Even if the prosecutor threw out the charge or a judge dismissed the charge and told you that you can answer no when asked if you were ever arrested Immigration still requires you to list the arrest and how the case was decided on Form N-400. Even more serious: charges dismissed by some state courts are considered convictions for immigration purposes.

If you ever had to go to court, get a certified copy of the disposition of your case and consult a lawyer before you apply for citizenship.

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