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evilmonkey

Speeding Ticket and Naturalization

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I got a speeding ticket in GA for going 90/55 mph zone last year on 02/05/08. When I went to court, since it was my first offense without even seeing the judge the DO reduced the charge to 73/55 but in return made me pay $750 in fine. There was no sentence, no jail, no detain or no parole required etc etc. Simple sppeding ticket which now shows on my record as a 2 point violation 73/55.

Also, this is the only offense on my record. No other criminal/municipal/ or any kind of charges exist.

I have disclosed this ticket on my naturalization application, and attached the official certified court disposition which serves as proof of the above fact. Will this effect my Naturalization application in any harmful manner?

My timeline is as follows:

02/09/09 : N-400 Application Sent to TSC
02/10/09 : Application Recieved
03/04/09 : Check Recieved Cashed
03/05/09 : NOA recieved
03/14/09 : FP notice recieved
03/14/09 : FP walkin completed
xx/xx/09 : Interview Letter Received
xx/xx/09 : Interview Completed - Passed
xx/xx/09 : Oath Ceremony - WOHOOO US CITIZEN FINALLY!!! Edited by fahadkhan00

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QUOTE (queendlee @ Apr 2 2009, 10:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
it should not affect you really, although the finally decision is based on your IO opinion, not necessarily a legal or sensible logic.
Good luck!


Agree with queendlee. Only one speeding ticket should not affect the IO's decision, as long as you don't develop a pattern/history. Plus disclosing it shows that you're not lying. Shouldn't be any problem.

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This is not a crime and perhaps should not even have been declared on your N400. When I did my own citizenship application, I marked 'No' to this question because I felt that traffic tickets were not relevant and only traffic offenses for which you may have been arrested etc. were to be disclosed (Yes, I interpreted it this way - may have been incorrect but that's how I saw it, no one questioned me about it for my citizenship interview).
I remembered that one of my acquaintances in India declared his speeding ticket as a 'crime' on his Immigrant application and was rejected - took several months, $$$s and an attorney to overcome his stupidity. Good Luck Edited by motu

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Here's what the Guide to Naturalization says:

QUOTE
Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your application if you
do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident. Note that unless a traffic incident was
alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and
incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than
$500 and/or points on your driver’s license.

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QUOTE (jsnearline @ Apr 2 2009, 01:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's what the Guide to Naturalization says:

QUOTE
Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your application if you
do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident. Note that unless a traffic incident was
alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and
incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than
$500 and/or points on your driver’s license.



But my fine was $750 - so I guess I was right in disclosing it? sorry but english is not my first language and the legal jargon throws me off

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The way I read it is that you have to disclose everything on the application. If the penalty was more than the limits stated, then you need to submit a copy of the official record (court record, motor vehicle record, etc.)

I'd say you were right to disclose it. Better safe than sorry.

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This is of course very similar to the current thread regarding "did I commit an offense or not". Much of the same comments apply. You're right to disclose it; it shouldn't present a problem as long as it was disclosed.

I'll point out one thing: you say "There was no sentence, no jail, no detain or no parole required etc etc.". You may be missing the meaning of the word "detain" in legal context. When an officer gives you a ticket, he detains you. It may be only for a minute or two, but any time the officer wants you to stay where you are, and won't allow you to go freely about your business, you're being detained. Sometimes it's not clear whether an officer is detaining you, but if in doubt, you can always ask, "am I free to go"? If he says "yes", you're not being detained. If he says "no", then you're being detained.

Officers can't detain someone, even for a minute, unless they have some reasonable cause, but the standard is very low, much lower than would be required for a conviction.

See this google search for lots of info.

Note that the N-400 asks, among other things, if you've ever been detained. Being detained is NOT cause for denial of naturalization. But failure to disclose might be.



And if anybody tells you not to disclose, look up the case of Agueda Escalante. Police came to her home while responding to a 911 call, and while in her house, they noticed what they thought was a marijuana plant growing. She insisted it wasn't marijuana, but was another houseplant. They didn't believe her, and took her into custody while the plant was analyzed. When they got the results of the analysis, they found that she was telling the truth, that the plant was NOT marijuana, so they released her. Everybody agrees she did nothing wrong in this incident and the police made a mistake.

When it came time for her to apply for naturalization, she thought she didn't need to disclose the incident, because she never did anything wrong and the police made a mistake. So she submitted the N-400 without mentioning the incident.

Her failure to disclose cost her her US citizenship. Her citizenship was initially approved, but then later, after naturalization was approved, immigration officials became aware of the old arrest record, and proceeded to administratively denaturalize her for failure to disclose the arrest.

http://articles.latimes.com/1999/jun/05/news/mn-44353

http://articles.latimes.com/1998/mar/08/news/mn-26780

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QUOTE (jsnearline @ Apr 2 2009, 11:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's what the Guide to Naturalization says:

QUOTE
Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your application if you
do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident. Note that unless a traffic incident was
alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and
incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than
$500 and/or points on your driver’s license.


As I have said elsewhere - you may also read the tag on your mattress that says "Do not remove under penalty of law" and then disclose the removal of the mattress tag as a 'crime'. Yes, do what makes you comfortable, but I think people are being very paranoid - the cases sited where people got into trouble - in one domestic violence was involved, in another an actual arrest took place - a traffic ticket or as others have said, a parking ticket do not rise to the level of crimes in my interpretation - what next - the notice of overdue library books is also a crime now? Yes some people think so - especially the library! Relax and put things into perspective. If you are going to portray yourselves as a criminal for dreaming about blowing up Washington DC (after having watched it in the movie Independence day) - so be it. Good Luck

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QUOTE (motu @ Apr 3 2009, 12:28 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jsnearline @ Apr 2 2009, 11:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's what the Guide to Naturalization says:

QUOTE
Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your application if you
do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident. Note that unless a traffic incident was
alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and
incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than
$500 and/or points on your driver’s license.


As I have said elsewhere - you may also read the tag on your mattress that says "Do not remove under penalty of law" and then disclose the removal of the mattress tag as a 'crime'. Yes, do what makes you comfortable, but I think people are being very paranoid - the cases sited where people got into trouble - in one domestic violence was involved, in another an actual arrest took place - a traffic ticket or as others have said, a parking ticket do not rise to the level of crimes in my interpretation - what next - the notice of overdue library books is also a crime now? Yes some people think so - especially the library! Relax and put things into perspective. If you are going to portray yourselves as a criminal for dreaming about blowing up Washington DC (after having watched it in the movie Independence day) - so be it. Good Luck


STRONGLY AGREE WITH YOU ,THANK YOU...I ALWAYS WANTED TO SAY THE SAME THINGS, BUT I COULDN'T EXPLAIN MYSELF LIKE U DID..

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The application tells you to disclose information about ANY crime OR offense you may have committed. A traffic violation is not a crime, but it is considered an offense. As such, it should be noted on the application, but as long as the penalty was below the limit specified, no additional documentation is needed.

It seems to me if USCIS did not want you to report traffic tickets, the instrucstions would have said so.

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QUOTE (motu @ Apr 3 2009, 11:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jsnearline @ Apr 2 2009, 11:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's what the Guide to Naturalization says:

QUOTE
Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your application if you
do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident. Note that unless a traffic incident was
alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and
incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than
$500 and/or points on your driver’s license.


As I have said elsewhere - you may also read the tag on your mattress that says "Do not remove under penalty of law" and then disclose the removal of the mattress tag as a 'crime'. Yes, do what makes you comfortable, but I think people are being very paranoid - the cases sited where people got into trouble - in one domestic violence was involved, in another an actual arrest took place - a traffic ticket or as others have said, a parking ticket do not rise to the level of crimes in my interpretation - what next - the notice of overdue library books is also a crime now? Yes some people think so - especially the library! Relax and put things into perspective. If you are going to portray yourselves as a criminal for dreaming about blowing up Washington DC (after having watched it in the movie Independence day) - so be it. Good Luck


LOL....The tag on the mattress does not apply to the owner of the mattress. You can cut away all your tags that say that when you buy your mattress. Now if you went into a mattress store and cut the tag, you would be a trouble. And YES you should put that down on your N-400 =)

Speeding in most states is a Petty Misdemeanor which is cited , you broke the law and that's an offense. 90 in a 55 can also be tagged as a Misdemeanor for reckless driving. Report all your traffic violations!!! There are a lot of people on here that do not disclose that information or tell people not to disclose the information. Let me ask you this " Would you like to be denied citizenship based on not providing that information?" Then who do you hold accountable for giving you bad information? It's better to be safe then sorry. Good Luck.

PS it's not paranoia, it's about dealing with people on a government level who will pick apart your application just because they can and deny you.

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QUOTE (KyngSilva @ Apr 18 2009, 11:01 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (motu @ Apr 3 2009, 11:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (jsnearline @ Apr 2 2009, 11:22 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Here's what the Guide to Naturalization says:

QUOTE
Even if you have committed a minor crime, USCIS may deny your application if you
do not tell the USCIS officer about the incident. Note that unless a traffic incident was
alcohol or drug related, you do not need to submit documentation for traffic fines and
incidents that did not involve an actual arrest if the only penalty was a fine less than
$500 and/or points on your driver's license.


As I have said elsewhere - you may also read the tag on your mattress that says "Do not remove under penalty of law" and then disclose the removal of the mattress tag as a 'crime'. Yes, do what makes you comfortable, but I think people are being very paranoid - the cases sited where people got into trouble - in one domestic violence was involved, in another an actual arrest took place - a traffic ticket or as others have said, a parking ticket do not rise to the level of crimes in my interpretation - what next - the notice of overdue library books is also a crime now? Yes some people think so - especially the library! Relax and put things into perspective. If you are going to portray yourselves as a criminal for dreaming about blowing up Washington DC (after having watched it in the movie Independence day) - so be it. Good Luck


LOL....The tag on the mattress does not apply to the owner of the mattress. You can cut away all your tags that say that when you buy your mattress. Now if you went into a mattress store and cut the tag, you would be a trouble. And YES you should put that down on your N-400 =)

Speeding in most states is a Petty Misdemeanor which is cited , you broke the law and that's an offense. 90 in a 55 can also be tagged as a Misdemeanor for reckless driving. Report all your traffic violations!!! There are a lot of people on here that do not disclose that information or tell people not to disclose the information. Let me ask you this " Would you like to be denied citizenship based on not providing that information?" Then who do you hold accountable for giving you bad information? It's better to be safe then sorry. Good Luck.

PS it's not paranoia, it's about dealing with people on a government level who will pick apart your application just because they can and deny you.



I read on another forum about somebody being denied because of a couple of traffic tickets. Or other people being delayed.
I called already twice and spoke with an I/O. They started to laugh when I asked. They said that if an arrest wasn't involved, then they don't want to hear about traffic tickets.

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