How to study in Canada with an arrest on your record?
March 30, 2014 10:44 PM Subscribe
My partner and I are moving to Canada to get our PhDs and so we have to apply for study permits (we're US citizens). The application asks if you've been arrested, and my partner has been once. How do we explain the arrest on the application, how do we ensure his study permit isn't denied because of this? Is there anything special we should include?
posted by jardinier to Law & Government (9 answers total)
We're both applying for the study permits online. He has already sent away to the FBI for his records, following the instructions he was given online when he answered that he had been arrested.
There was no conviction, it was an ACD which is an Adjournment In Contemplation of Dismissal. This means that after 6 months, the charges were dismissed and the record expunged. It was part of the NYPD's entrapment practice called "operation lucky bag" where they put wallets and purses in public places and then arrested the people who picked them up, assuming that those people weren't going to return them. It was a misdemeanor theft charge. There was actually a class action lawsuit about it because it was such a sleazy thing, like stop and frisk - but that's another story.
So, I assume that on his study permit application he needs to answer that yes, he was arrested, even though in the state of new york he is legally allowed to say he has not been arrested. I understand that arrests show up for national security level searches even when they're expunged. But we're just struggling with how to determine whether we need an immigration lawyer, whether he should just apply and explain, how you go about getting a record of a non-conviction? So many things are confusing about this...
(Here's the text about what the ACD means from N.Y. Criminal Procedure Law 150.55(8):
"The granting of an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal shall not be deemed to be a conviction or an admission of guilt."
The law further provides: "No person shall suffer any disability or forfeiture as a result of such an order. Upon the dismissal of the accusatory instrument pursuant to this section, the arrest and prosecution shall be deemed a nullity and the defendant shall be restored, in contemplation of law, to the status he occupied before his arrest and prosecution." )