What Should I Disclose to My Immigration Lawyer About My Criminal History?

When consulting an immigration lawyer, full transparency about your criminal history is crucial. But what specific details should you disclose to ensure they can provide the best possible assistance?


Disclosing your complete criminal history to your immigration lawyer is essential for them to effectively represent and assist you. Here’s what you should share:

**1. All Arrests and Charges:
Even if you were not convicted, disclose all arrests and charges. This includes dismissed charges, charges you were acquitted of, and those that did not lead to prosecution. Immigration authorities often have access to arrest records, so it’s important your lawyer is aware of everything.

**2. Convictions:
Provide detailed information about all convictions, including misdemeanors and felonies. Include the date of the conviction, the court where it took place, and the specific charges.

**3. Sentencing Details:
Share information about any sentences you received, including jail or prison time, probation, fines, community service, and any other penalties. Detail whether you completed these sentences or if they are still ongoing.

**4. Plea Bargains:
If you accepted a plea bargain, disclose the terms and conditions of the agreement. This can be crucial in understanding the legal nuances of your case.

**5. Expunged or Sealed Records:
Inform your lawyer about any criminal records that have been expunged or sealed. While these records may not be readily visible, they can still affect your immigration case, and your lawyer needs to be aware of them.

**6. Pending Charges:
If you have any pending criminal charges or ongoing investigations, disclose these as well. Your lawyer needs to know about any potential legal challenges that might arise during your immigration process.

**7. Parole or Probation Status:
Let your lawyer know if you are currently on parole or probation. This status can have implications for your immigration case, and your lawyer can help navigate these complexities.

**8. Documentation:
Provide all relevant documents related to your criminal history. This includes court records, police reports, sentencing documents, and any correspondence related to your criminal cases.

Why Full Disclosure is Important:

  • Legal Strategy: Full disclosure allows your lawyer to develop the most effective legal strategy tailored to your specific situation.
  • Prevent Surprises: Immigration authorities may uncover information you withhold, potentially jeopardizing your case.
  • Trust and Confidentiality: Remember that your lawyer is bound by confidentiality. Sharing all details ensures they can protect your interests without any hidden risks.

For more detailed information on navigating your criminal history with your immigration lawyer and understanding the implications for your immigration case, visit this comprehensive guide here. This resource offers valuable insights and practical advice to help you manage your case effectively. Don’t miss out on this essential information that could significantly impact your legal and immigration journey.