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Author Topic: what is considered a criminal traffic offence?  (Read 2339 times)
adelina
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« on: July 19, 2008, 11:08:58 PM »

Hello,
I've run into a question on my UK online spouse visa application regarding criminal convictions:

1. Do you have any criminal convictions in any country (including traffic offences)?

Do they include traffic tickets for having expired inspection stickers or tags, or yielding (not stopping) at a stop sign? I have been pulled over for those, years ago, but payed them. Do I put yes? Would this actually be classified as a traffic "criminal" offence?

2. Have you ever been charged in any country with a criminal offence for which you have not yet been tried in court (including taffic offences)?

I lived in Arkansas 9 years ago and was pulled over (but given no ticket for what I was pulled over for) but I was given a ticket to appear in court because I had no proof of insurance with me (even though I had and payed for my insurance) I was only told to appear in court to show my insurance card to prove that I had it. I moved right after this happened and was no longer in the area when the court date came and so I didn't go. Again, this was only for not having my insurance card on me, no other reason. But is this still considered a criminal, traffic offense conviction? And remember, this was 9 years ago.

Also, when I lived in California, before I moved from there (I live in Texas now) I was given a parking ticket that I never payed. This was 8 years ago.

I'm not sure what these things are even classified as, whether they are still on my record, if I even have a "criminal" record from this, and whether I put yes or no to those questions. Help?!

I have had background criminal checks done for jobs I have applied for and always put that I don't have a criminal record or convictions, however the questions I was asked for those background checks never included traffic offences.

I guess I am unsure what is classified as a criminal traffic offence?

Thanks for any info!
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LoveMyBrit
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« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2008, 12:04:26 AM »

I didn't consider minor traffic offenses, like speeding or failure to use signal, to be "criminal." I was thinking something like Grand Theft Auto would be a "criminal" traffic offense.
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adelina
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« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2008, 03:39:47 AM »

Yeah, I was really doubting minor offences to be criminal either, but I wasn't sure how technical they were being. I think I'm paranoid.  Tongue

I'm really only worried about the ticket I got in Arkansas where they wanted me to appear in court to show my proof of insurance, and since I never did, I heard that they probably issued a warrant for my arrest. I never worried about it though because I haven't been back to that state since then. I never worried about it at all until now.
 
I have heard that these things leave your record though after so many years, and this happened 9 years ago for me, so maybe I'm worrying about nothing.
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LoveMyBrit
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« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2008, 04:02:05 AM »

I didn't include any speeding citations on mine. The last one I had just left my record anyway...I think they expire in 3 years. I interpreted that question that it meant criminal offenses, just as it states.

As far as your failure to show proof of insurance in AR, I don't know. You may ask Vicky or Garry on here - they seem to give good, honest advice and would have a better idea. My guess would be it's not an issue...but I'd double check on that one.

Ultimately, a failure to show proof of insurance (which I have done before not having a current card with me) isn't a reason do deny entry. I don't see it as being a threat or burden on their society.

*has the song "Breakin the Law" in my head, hehe*
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23 Jan 06 - Met Online
17 Jul 07 - ENGAGED!!! :-D
30 Jun 08 - Applied for Fiance Visa
22 Jul 08 - Received Visa
01 Aug 08 - Arrived in UK!
01 Nov 08 - MARRIED!!!
03 Nov 08 - In-person FLR(M) - GRANTED!!

19 Dec 09 - 1st son, Ryan Joseph Smiley

02 Oct 10 - KOL Passed
26 Oct 10 - ILR app (posted Special Delivery)
27 Oct 10 - online tracking confirmed delivery
30 Oct 10 - Confirmation via post
15 Nov 10 - ILR granted/documents returned!!!
adelina
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« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2008, 04:12:43 AM »

lol thanks
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garry
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2008, 05:20:36 AM »

I hate to throw a wet blanket on this thread, but...

Here's an extract from Transpondia's FAQ...

NOTE:  We urge applicants and advisers to take special note that applications made within the UK make explicit references to the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, whereas applications made abroad for entry clearance are NOT constrained by this act.  Failure to list a criminal offense on an entry clearance application regardless of how it falls under the Rehab Act may result in the application being refused on the grounds of deception.  Such refusals are accompanied by a 10 year ban. As written in the Immigration Act of 1971, if you are caught out after you have arrived in the UK, you may be subject to forfeiture of  your ILR or citizenship. There are no statutes of limitation covering deception.

So eyes wide peeps...
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 05:29:53 AM by garry » Logged
adelina
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« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2008, 05:42:26 AM »

do you think my traffic offenses would be considered criminal offenses then? Should I explain them on the application?
« Last Edit: July 20, 2008, 06:37:52 AM by adelina » Logged
kamchatka
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« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2008, 08:33:56 AM »

Adlina-compared to many of the petty crooks that invest our country,you are a pussy cat!

You could always ring the immigration office for guidance ? Your "offences" seem pretty insignificant though. I mean here in the UK we let terrorists live nad all manner of serious crooks enter the country so a speeding citation in Arkansa or whatever is hardly worth bothering about IMHO
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medivisas
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« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2008, 11:55:58 AM »

The problem isn't the tickets, the problem is your failure to appear in court and your failure to pay a ticket.  You don't knwo what punishment was given in your absence.  In the UK you may have had a charge of contempt, which is serious, so I think you should find out and clear these matters before even considering making an application.

Vicky
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adelina
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« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2008, 12:21:56 AM »

Thanks for the advice.

I contacted the police and was told that not appearing in court is still on record, but it was purged from their active records, and the warrant they issued in '99 was only active for 4 years. They didn't mention any fees owed and I was told that there is no risk of punishment now. I don't think there's much I can do now with it being inactive for the past 5 years.

As for the parking ticket, I am not even sure if I paid it now, 8 years is so long ago. I called the City Hall and DMV and there is not even a record of it ever existing. So I don't know if I paid it, or if it timed out, or what. Either way, I asked them if I could pay it now, in case I hadn't before, and they said there is nothing to pay.

As for the Failure to Appear incident, since they didn't want me to pay any fees or appear in court in the future, I have no documentation of it, and aside from just mentioning it in 2 lines in the application (with the space they give me), I don't know what else I could include that would explain it in more detail. I am not even sure of the month it happened. Do I need to know the month? All I know is the year. Do you think I should write out a more detailed description on a different sheet of paper and attach it to the application? Would this be enough? There just isn't much room on the online application.

Does anyone think this Failure to Appear could get my visa rejected? 
 

 
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garry
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« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2008, 01:37:52 AM »

You'll be fine. 

Possibly better off without the proverbial sword of damacles wondering if it should ever turn up.

When time permits, I'll post some profiles where traffic convictions etc etc turned up later and caused people an incredible headache, even expulsion. 

Unless it's some big-time armed robbery, drug dealing or similar, it's hard to draw a refusal on character.  And you can always argue the point anyway.  But for deception, it's impossible to argue with them.
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adelina
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« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2008, 08:25:17 PM »

Thanks for the reassurance.  Smiley
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garry
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« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2008, 08:51:51 PM »

They are starting to run people's biometric results through the police and DHS computers in the US.  Not just American applicants but everybody in the world who provides  biometrics for a visa application.  And this will include people already here who have to give biometrics for a future UK application, or to renew their US passport.

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