Citizenship after motion to vacate

Our client had a prior criminal conviction for petty theft. The criminal attorney hired by Ms. G was able to get the theft charge lowered to aggressive trespassing. It was important to negotiate the plea for a lesser charge since a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) can make an immigrant in the US ineligible for citizenship.

We advised Ms. G that it would be fight to get her naturalization approved but we could try because we did not believe that her theft offense constituted a CIMT. While Ms. G passed the English and Civics portions of the naturalization test and the officer interviewing her recommended that her application should be granted, Ms. G’s N-400 was ultimately denied by USCIS because of the criminal issues. We filed an N-336 to appeal the denial. We helped Ms. G write an affidavit and to gather documents for the N-336 interview. Unfortunately, Ms. G’s appeal was denied.

Our next step was to file a motion to vacate plea for her first petty theft conviction. We did this because we wanted to change Ms. G’s first guilty plea to a lesser charge which would improve her chances of being approved for naturalization. We were successful and her charge was changed to disorderly conduct. We explained the legal ramifications to Ms. G and told her that she would be able to travel. We also explained that she would be eligible for citizenship in 2013.

In 2014 Ms. G contacted us again to help her with her naturalization application. Since we vacated her earlier conviction in 2010, the naturalization process was much smoother. We filed the N-400, prepared her for the interview and attended the interview with her. Ms. G’s N-400 was approved and she became a citizen in February 2015. Ms. G is extremely happy and very appreciative of all the counseling and preparation provided to her by the staff and attorneys at Margaret W. Wong & Associates.