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I was arrested in buffalo for driving on suspended registration. DMV in NY thought that I do not have any insurance and they suspended my registration. However I had active insurance. On further conversation and investigation, I discovered that DMV has not received the proof of insurance from my insurance company. They reinstated my registration as soon as they received the necessary proofs. This was because my insurance company failed to send the proof of insurance in time to the DMV, and there was no fault of mine.

I took the necessary proof to the court and the DA dropped the charges in like 2 mins. Further on the judge put a stamp on it and sealed my records and also apologised for the inconvenience. I a Indian national working in USA on an H1B. My application for Green Card is in progress. My question is will there be any problem in me getting the green card?

  • If the person making the decision lives in New York you should be fine; NY DMV are a bunch of bastards and every New Yorker (or former New Yorker like me) hates them. – Gerard Ashton Apr 1 at 19:16
  • @GerardAshton Thanks for chiming in. I am in upstate NY in buffalo, and the county is Erie. – user17031 Apr 1 at 19:24
  • Were you actually arrested (i.e., handcuffed and taken in custody to a jail) or were you only issued a written citation and given a notice to appear in court at a later date? – David Apr 1 at 20:38
  • @David Thanks for your input. I was handcuffed and taken into the station. I don't clearly remember if they finger printed me or not but they definitely took pictures. – user17031 Apr 1 at 23:47
  • That sounds indeed like an arrest. (I asked because some governmental questions ask about arrest and some about charged with.) – David Apr 1 at 23:51
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My question is will there be any problem in me getting the green card?

No, this will not cause a problem by itself, but you should be careful to mention this whenever you are asked about your criminal history. For example, Form I-485 asks whether you have ever been arrested for any reason. The answer to that question is yes.

Note that the introduction to the section containing that question says

you must answer "Yes" to any question that applies to you, even if your records were sealed or otherwise cleared, or even if anyone, including a judge, law enforcement officer, or attorney, told you that you no longer have a record.

You will then explain what happened: your insurance company failed to provide proof, the DMV cancelled your registration, you were arrested, and after the administrative failure was resolved, the charges were dropped and your record sealed. None of that will keep you from becoming a permanent resident.

On the other hand, if you answer no to the question about being arrested, you could be found inadmissible because of misrepresentation, which would make you ineligible to adjust status.

  • I truly appreciate your response. I would like to seek your opinion about New York State Criminal Procedure Law 160.60. I am in no way challenging your opinion, I just want someone opinion about the understanding of the law and what are my rights in this case. The last line of CPL 160.60 is of particular interest to me. ypdcrime.com/cpl/article160.htm?zoom_highlight=160.60#c160.60 – user17031 Apr 1 at 23:53
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    @user17031 New York law applies to the government of New York. The last line of that statute has no bearing on an application submitted to the federal government (or to the UK government, for example, if you applied for a visa there). (I also doubt that 160.50 even applies to the incident you report, since that section concerns conditional dismissal after conviction, whereas you describe the charges being dropped and the case being dismissed without conditions before a verdict was reached.) – phoog Apr 2 at 1:32
  • your first point about this being a NY state law makes sense. I guess I will have to research into the jurisdiction (pertaining to the last line) of federal government. So I guess for the rest of my life I will have to keep explaining people about this incident? – user17031 Apr 2 at 1:37
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    @user17031 only if they ask if you've been arrested for any reason and are not in New York State. But I reiterate that this section of law does not appear to apply to your case. You should not assume that it does. You also should not rely on internet strangers for your understanding of the law. If you have persistent questions, talk to a lawyer. – phoog Apr 2 at 4:21
  • Well said, @phoog. – David Apr 2 at 13:21

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