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arrested in New York in 2006 for Marijuana possession-

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1. Posted by irishlad32 (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

irishlad32 has indicated that this thread is about Visas (USA)

Hi I am an Irish Citizen and am currently in Ireland, but was arrested in New York in 2006 for Marijuana possesion. I was given a desk apperance ticket for a hearing whcih was 3 weeks later when I was back in Ireland. I explained this to the arresting sergent and he said that I should just go pay the desk fine when i am in the states next. I have had visas and many visits to the states prior to this and have an impeccible reputation. It was a stupid thing for me to do!! Now the dilema is that I really want to visit the states. I went to the american embassey and got interviewd by an american consular who on revision of my record granted me a visitors visa for next year, however he said that he could not help me with the desk ticket as there is probably a warrent out for my arrest as I failed to appear at the desk hearing. He suggested that I get in contact with the authorities In New York just in case I am arrested and thrown in Jail on my return to the states. I need some help!! I'm a really good person and have never been in trouble before. I don't even smoke pot.. i just bought it on impulse from a guy selling it in Washington Square Park

2. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 5y

I don't even smoke pot.. i just bought it on impulse from a guy selling it in Washington Square Park

Officer-the dog ate my homework.

3. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 5y

subscribing

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 5y

It looks like you have 2 options. You are going to be admitted to the US. Once there, you either go over to the NYPD and pay your fine or you don't. I think you should go over and pay the fine. They know you are Irish, know you were out of the country on your desk appearance date. Once you have paid the fine, you do not have to be concerned with this dilemma again. Good luck.

5. Posted by SamSalmon (Respected Member 626 posts) 5y

There is more to this than paying a fine-he is almost certainly charged with what's called in ==Canada Failure to Appear== have no idea of the legal term in the USA but it's certainly more serious than simple possession.

If he goes back to the USA and is admitted the first thing he should do is contact a lawyer-and be prepared to pay, and pay, and pay.....that's how the system works (everywhere)

6. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 5y

Cheers to you Sam, got arrested for DUI in Boston in 1976, failed to appear my first hearing,still on the sauce, my fault.....3 months late on advice of my fellowshio group members, surrended and was given a pro bono lawyer and everything worked out well, this is a travel forum not a legal advice forum, get on the web and find a nyc lawyer,talk to him or her by Skype or phone first, pay by credit card and he will advise what to do if you wish to return to usa bad enough, had I not turned myself in would never have been able to ever get my licence back and if arrested for anything else would have a warrant out on me. Yeah the dog ate the homework, you got caught. good luck

7. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 5y

Quoting SamSalmon

I don't even smoke pot.. i just bought it on impulse from a guy selling it in Washington Square Park

Officer-the dog ate my homework.

Sam and I rarely agree on things but this one... Was this just a "I've never tried it but since I'm on vacation "what the hell, why not" situation"? Sorry, lost on the concept of buying pot if you have never used it or didn't want to try it. Only other alternative is trying to help a guy out who needed money for food - which (in the seller's terms) means buying more pot to sell.

I actually replied earlier, but in my haste, thought my "preview" was the actual post and moved on. D'oh!

I find it hard to believe an arresting Sergeant (yes, that's the correct spelling) would tell you to just pay the fine, because of your circumstances, when you've returned to the US again. Given what the Washington Square area officers encounter daily, and being NYC - you may not have been worth the time to deal with for such an infraction. I still find it odd. That's not saying it's not true. ( I was just there recently.) But realize, depending on his day, he didn't really give a "rat's ass" about your circumstances because you were leaving the country. Now you want to return - different story.

Do not trust the "pay it when you get back here" comment. You have a bench warrant outstanding and the longer they stay on the books, the harder they are to rectify. "Failure to appear" violations do escalate. If (and they most likely will) fingerprint you upon entry, your bench warrant may pop up on the screen - especially since you were arrested in the US. The UK and Ireland do share records. Though you have no arrest history in Ireland, you probably have a driver license and other identification which will connect you.

As dbloom suggested, contact a US lawyer by phone or via skype, pay for the consultations fees (if any) by credit card and find out your options. Do this before you leave Ireland. If you don't, and caught at the border - two things could happen: 1) You are arrested and need legal representation (you can ask for a public defender who works these cases pro bono) or 2) You are immediately placed on the next plane back home at YOUR own expense. You will be on that plane no matter what but you will be required to pay the fare too. If you do not have the immediate funds, you will be held at the airport until you have contacted everyone you know to supply those funds. US government does not pay your way home for your mistake.)

Clear it up or it will haunt you for a very, very long time. That, or skip the US as a travel destination. Sorry if I sound harsh - not meant sound so but this is important, especially if you are as "squeaky clean" as you claim. :)

8. Posted by irishlad32 (Budding Member 2 posts) 5y

Isadora!..your very harsh! :(

I got a lawyer in NYC along with an immigration Lawyer so hopefully things will work out.. I guess i'm trying to do the right thing.. I love the States and I also happen to love all my American friends and cousins.. .. I have of course smoked pot before.. a couple of times in Australia.. and I just bought it on impulse.. (have not smoked it since!! I learned a valuable lesson!)

HAVE A GREAT DAY!! :)

[ Edit: Edited on 15-Nov-2010, at 13:42 by irishlad32 ]

9. Posted by dbloom (Travel Guru 586 posts) 5y

:(I live in El Salvador, I have heard about those Immigration Lawyers in USA from many Salvadorans, good luck, rots of ruck as they say in Las Vegas. Some advice, if you plan on residing in USA and looking for work, due to the present economic situation, employers are checking the Internet, Court Records, etc. as there are 5 people now applying for every available work position. Keep a low profile and tell the truth only on a need to know basis, Isadora gave you the worst case scenario, possible. Be humble, humility is being teachable bro. If you are able to work it out fine, all for the best.

From someone who has been there and done all that in the past, there are bureaucrats who just jump with joy when they are able to get someone deported, in fact several years ago a friend in Guatemala had his son visit him there, upon return his son, a us citizen, was arrested on old warrants at the airport and spent 6 months in Broward County FL lockup, he never told his Dad, who is well off, about his drug arrests up north, so his Dad refused to post bail.
In future dont use nor possess illegal substances, especially when travelling, in a few countries even pot possession is a very serious offense, also advice for women travelling alone, if you go to even or especially a popular 'tourist' or gringo bar in travel destinations never accpt drinks from strangers nor get so intoxicated you become vulnerable. If travelling across international borders with 'doper' friends, well, who you know and what you show (money). If you smoke or use at home leave the 'habit' home, in Mexico, Costa Rica resort areas often dealers work with local police, turn you in and get their goods back to re sell. Keep clean away from home.

Now in the US if you have to take a leak find a bathroom somehow, if caught pee pee ing in public in some states, you are charged with indecent exposure and go on Internet as a 'sex offender' if convicted. Also men if travelling to usa, never solicit a prositute, may be an undercoverfemale police officer.

Why I live in the un developed world, less complicated.

10. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 5y

Quoting irishlad32

Isadora!..your very harsh! :(

I got a lawyer in NYC along with an immigration Lawyer so hopefully things will work out.. I guess i'm trying to do the right thing.. I love the States and I also happen to love all my American friends and cousins.. .. I have of course smoked pot before.. a couple of times in Australia.. and I just bought it on impulse.. (have not smoked it since!! I learned a valuable lesson!)

HAVE A GREAT DAY!! :)

As I stated in my original post, I was (and still am) sorry if my comments seemed harsh as they were not meant to carry that sentiment. As dbloom stated, I probably did give you the worst case scenario. But, that scenario (or scenarios) are definitely not out of the realm of possibilities. One of our closest friends did all the right things to enter Canada from the US. At the border, an outstanding arrest from 10 years ago popped up on the screen. He was given two options: 1) Continue trying to enter the country and Canada would immediately contact the authorities in the state where the offense took place. (Meaning he'd be arrested again for failure to appear the first time.) Or, 2) He could sign a waiver declining Canadian entry of his own accord, which he did. Immigration took him to the airport and placed him on a plane home. His girlfriend, who was allowed into Canada, paid for his airfare.

I hope the lawyers will be able to sort out your situation. dbloom is correct again - there are authorities out there who love their job and love sending people back. There have been a few older threads asking similar questions. The original posters went ahead and tried entering the US. Some have come back with updates saying they never saw the outside of the airport and were returned home.