A green card is the document that gives an immigrant authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. Green cards can be granted based on family or employment connections or as part of refugee/asylum status. However, having a Virginia reckless driving charge on your record could make the process much more difficult.
Criminal Offenses and Immigration Law
When you apply for a green card, you'll be asked if you've been "arrested, charged, indicted, convicted, fined, or imprisoned for breaking or violating any law or ordinance, excluding traffic violations." Since a reckless driving charge is considered to be a criminal charge and not a simple traffic violation, it must be reported.
Obviously, not all criminal offenses are of equal severity. If you've been charged with an offense such as money laundering, drug trafficking, or kidnapping, your application will be denied. Lesser offenses such as reckless driving will depend upon the exact circumstances surrounding the charge. For example:
- How long ago you were charged
- Whether you were charged with misdemeanor or felony reckless driving
- If you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time
- If anyone was hurt
- If you have other criminal offenses from unrelated incidents on your record
You'll need to speak with an immigration lawyer to learn more about how a reckless driving charge will affect your case.
How a Reckless Driving Attorney Can Help
If you've been charged with reckless driving, don't simply pay the ticket and hope for the best. An experienced attorney may be able to get the charge reduced to a lesser offense such as speeding or have it dropped altogether. This will mean you don't have to report it on your immigration application.
Virginia defense attorney T. Kevin Wilson is committed to investigating every possible avenue of defense for his clients, including those who are worried about the impact of a reckless driving charge on a pending green card application. Call today to schedule a free, no-obligation case review.