Foreign nationals who are currently living in Kentucky may be granted an opportunity to become naturalized citizens. However, to become a naturalized citizen, you must first be deemed a person of good moral character. If you are convicted of a crime, it may jeopardize your ability to be seen as such.
What counts as a conviction?
For immigration purposes, a conviction means that a judge or jury has found you guilty of a disqualifying criminal charge. The same may be true if you admit to committing such an offense before a jury makes a decision about your guilt or innocence. It’s important to note that the severity of your sentence will generally have no bearing on your immigration status following a conviction.
What if your sentence is deferred?
The judge in your case may have the ability to enroll you in a pretrial intervention program. Typically, the matter is dismissed after successfully completing that program. In such a scenario, the government may still find you to be a person of good moral character despite the fact that you were charged with a crime. A naturalization and citizenship attorney may be able to provide more insight into how a criminal matter might impact your quest to become an American.
If you have been charged with a crime and are seeking to become a citizen, it is generally in your best interest to contact an immigration attorney who has experience with these types of matters and discuss how the charge could affect your status.