Do I have to report a written arrest for underage alcohol possession on my citizenship application if I accepted a first-time offender deal?

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Do I have to report a written arrest for underage alcohol possession on my citizenship application if I accepted a first-time offender deal?

I was given a written arrest for underage alcohol possession in FL more than a year ago, but was not charged or convicted since I accepted a first time offender deal. I only did the required community service and paid the fees. Is this on my record? if so, how do I take it off? I am applying for citizenship, should I report it on the application? if so, will this affect my process?

Asked on September 8, 2010 under Criminal Law, Florida

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Generally, you should be as truthful as you can on a citizenship application, as the Federal government can find out just about anything. It is a general rule that arrests will appear on your record - even if you were not technically convicted - but it varies by circumstances and state.  Minors are treated differently under the law due to their age.  What you should do is run a background check on yourself and see what comes up.  Then speak with an attorney about what is known as "expunging" or sealing your record should it appear.  This, however, does not mean that the information will never show up.  It can and will on a background check by certain agencies.  And I am guessing that it will when the government checks for citizenship, if it is a question.  Good luck.


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