Our client, a Canadian National had been a lawful permanent resident for many years. He was taking medicinal marijuana by his medical doctor’s recommendation and care. A local police department in Ohio thought our client was a drug trafficker, largely because the client still had a home in Ohio but was in the process of moving out west. The police department had raided his home and later indicted him with drug trafficking, possession and other very damaging criminal charges. We worked very closely with his criminal defense attorney on the criminal matter. Our team filed a naturalization application. The criminal defense attorney was attempting to work out a deal with local prosecutors. However, each of the plea deals would have resulted in our client being subjected to mandatory detention by immigration and ultimate removal from the United States. After carefully reviewing the indictment, the evidence and the law, we stated that the client’s only option was to take the matter to trial. Ultimately, after several months of bickering back and forth, the Trial Court dismissed the case with prejudice.
Since no record of conviction exists, our client was not subject to mandatory detention and removal from the United States. This ensured that our client was able to keep his lawful permanent resident status and become a United States Citizen. After the criminal matter was resolved, we prepared our client for his naturalization interview and had the certified journal entry from the case at the client’s N-400 interview. Our attorney flew out the day before (arriving very early on a Sunday morning) to a western state to specifically spend the entire day preparing our client and reassuring him that everything was going to be just fine. The interview occurred without any problems. Our client passed the civics and English Tests. The Court’s journal entry was submitted at the interview. The officer told us that he would recommend the case for approval once he confirmed that the Ohio Court’s Journal Entry was verified. Our client received his oath swearing in ceremony shortly after the interview. Our client is now a United States Citizen. We are dedicated to ensuring that the correct results are attained for all of our clients. We know the importance of not “taking the plea” even if that plea may result in no jail time. In this case, large part to the efforts of our office working closely with our client’s criminal attorney, the criminal matter was dismissed and our client was eligible to naturalize and become a U.S. citizen.