Would I be denied entering back into the U.S. with a criminal record?
I was charged for a Class 1 Misdemeanor in Virginia for petty larceny, and sentenced for three months, all suspended. After visiting my home country, I am trying to reenter the U.S. on a valid visa. Would I be denied of admission at Dulles airport?
No, your case falls into the “petty offense exception” under grounds of Inadmissibility. But you should consult with an attorney because there might be other grounds which may make you inadmissible.
Generally, when we hear that a person is being denied of admission or is being deported, we think of such government actions as being the same protocol. Actually, there are three types of denials. First, the Grounds of deportability – as in Deportation – applies to those who are lawfully admitted in the United States. Second, the Grounds of Removal applies to those who entered without inspection or overstayed on visa. Third, the Grounds of Inadmissibility applies to those seeking admission into the U.S. or seeking adjustment of status.
What you are referring to is the Grounds of Inadmissibility. If a person has committed two or more crimes in which the sentence of confinement aggregate to five years or more, the person is admissible. Likewise, if a person is convicted of any controlled substance crime or prostiution-related offenses, such person will not be admissible. Also, a person charged with a crime involving moral turpitude, or CIMT, which includes Theft, such person will not be admissible.
However, there is a “Petty Offense Exception” for a person charged for one misdemeanor, in which the imposed sentence is six months or less. It is important to understand that this six months also includes suspended time. You have been charged for one misdemeanor with imposed sentence of three months, all suspended, so you would be deemed admissible.
We strongly advise you to seek our advice before departing or entering the United States, because most criminal convictions are based on state criminal statues and a non citizen charged under deport ability or inadmissibility faces detention and removal.
Call our office atto determine the best course of action.