ESTA with traffic offence

Old May 20th 2022, 12:24 pm
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Default ESTA with traffic offence

Hi there,

I had an AC10 – failing to stop after an accident conviction (5 points on licence, £120 fine) from Justice of Peace court in 2018 in Scotland. I had a really minor brush with a parked car and I did not leave details.

In 2020, I wanted to apply for a visa to travel to US. I had Indian passport. I declared the conviction in my application and got a police certificate from ACRO. The certificate came up with ‘No Trace’. Eventually, I did not go for visa interview as it was cancelled due to covid.

I now have British passport. Now, if I want to travel to US, can I answer ‘No’ to criminal conviction/CIMT and apply for ESTA or do I declare the conviction and apply for a visa?

Many thanks for your help!
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Old May 20th 2022, 3:26 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by Chris99 View Post
Hi there,

I had an AC10 – failing to stop after an accident conviction (5 points on licence, £120 fine) from Justice of Peace court in 2018 in Scotland. I had a really minor brush with a parked car and I did not leave details.
Just trying to keep it as simple as possible. You have been convicted, therefore, a 'yes' check is required imho.
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Old May 20th 2022, 4:06 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by PetrifiedExPat View Post
Just trying to keep it as simple as possible. You have been convicted, therefore, a 'yes' check is required imho.
As I understand it, road traffic tickets with licence points and/or fines, don't count as convictions.

Hopefully someone will be along shortly to arbitrate on our difference of opinion.
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Old May 20th 2022, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

An auto accident is not usually considered a criminal offense unless it is a Driving under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances offense in the USA. Even failing to leave details usually would only garner you a fine.
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Old May 20th 2022, 5:22 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
As I understand it, road traffic tickets with licence points and/or fines, don't count as convictions.

Hopefully someone will be along shortly to arbitrate on our difference of opinion.
I agree a run of the mill traffic ticket is not a criminal conviction, A No Trace on the PNC confirms that.
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Old May 20th 2022, 5:43 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Just to clarify, I got the points and fine from a JP court and not via a FPN. So, it is a conviction. However, as ACRO certificate came up as 'No Trace' it is not classed as a recordable offence in my case and certainly did not create a criminal record for me.
Given this, I am not sure how to proceed. The question in ESTA application asks 'Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?'.
I hope I could answer 'no' to the above question given my offence is not a recordable one (thereby minor in nature) even though it is a conviction?
If the question was asking to declare any conviction at all, it would be straight forward.
I don't wish to misrepresent myself in ESTA at the same time wouldn't want to go through the hassle of a visa interview (waiting times of 4 months + currently) if I don't have to.



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Old May 20th 2022, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

To be clear unless you were sentenced to jail time. The fact it did not show up on ACRO certificate means it is not serious.
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Old May 20th 2022, 7:16 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by Chris99 View Post
Hi there,

I had an AC10 – failing to stop after an accident conviction (5 points on licence, £120 fine) from Justice of Peace court in 2018 in Scotland. I had a really minor brush with a parked car and I did not leave details.

In 2020, I wanted to apply for a visa to travel to US. I had Indian passport. I declared the conviction in my application and got a police certificate from ACRO. The certificate came up with ‘No Trace’. Eventually, I did not go for visa interview as it was cancelled due to covid.

I now have British passport. Now, if I want to travel to US, can I answer ‘No’ to criminal conviction/CIMT and apply for ESTA or do I declare the conviction and apply for a visa?

Many thanks for your help!
Originally Posted by Chris99 View Post
Just to clarify, I got the points and fine from a JP court and not via a FPN. So, it is a conviction. However, as ACRO certificate came up as 'No Trace' it is not classed as a recordable offence in my case and certainly did not create a criminal record for me.
Given this, I am not sure how to proceed. The question in ESTA application asks 'Have you ever been arrested or convicted for a crime that resulted in serious damage to property, or serious harm to another person or government authority?'.
I hope I could answer 'no' to the above question given my offence is not a recordable one (thereby minor in nature) even though it is a conviction?
If the question was asking to declare any conviction at all, it would be straight forward.
I don't wish to misrepresent myself in ESTA at the same time wouldn't want to go through the hassle of a visa interview (waiting times of 4 months + currently) if I don't have to.
What is a “really minor brush” I guess an owner of a car could see that a different way to you if getting it back to the state it was in before was going to cost $1000’s… even minor damage can be expensive if you can’t paint match 1 or 2 panels and need to repaint the whole car… but no idea what serious means in this context… and how that maps to cost…

I assume you know the cost since you were caught and you or your insurance had to pay for the repair?

Last edited by tht; May 20th 2022 at 7:20 pm.
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Old May 20th 2022, 7:48 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Agree with other commentators rebuttals of my original point. My concern arose from the Justice of the Peace involvement. But, could still be no big deal.
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Old May 20th 2022, 7:55 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by tht View Post
What is a “really minor brush” I guess an owner of a car could see that a different way to you if getting it back to the state it was in before was going to cost $1000’s… even minor damage can be expensive if you can’t paint match 1 or 2 panels and need to repaint the whole car… but no idea what serious means in this context… and how that maps to cost…

I assume you know the cost since you were caught and you or your insurance had to pay for the repair?
I by no means try to sugarcoat when I said "minor brush". It was indeed really minor, barely noticeable. I was a new driver and apparently my parking skills were not up to scratch. I should nevertheless have left my details as the owner of the other car should decide how he views it, not me. My bad, poor judgement. A passer by noticed it and reported it to police. When police spoke to me they acknowledged how minor it is but said I should still have left my details.

To answer your question, it did not cost me or my insurance anything. The police passed on my insurance details to the other person but no claims were ever made.
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Old May 20th 2022, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by Chris99 View Post
I by no means try to sugarcoat when I said "minor brush". It was indeed really minor, barely noticeable. I was a new driver and apparently my parking skills were not up to scratch. I should nevertheless have left my details as the owner of the other car should decide how he views it, not me. My bad, poor judgement. A passer by noticed it and reported it to police. When police spoke to me they acknowledged how minor it is but said I should still have left my details.

To answer your question, it did not cost me or my insurance anything. The police passed on my insurance details to the other person but no claims were ever made.
“Failing to stop” makes it sound like a hit and run… what you describe comes across very different… and if no claim was made it sounds like you could infer no serious damage was done… I have seen that type of “parking” many times in NYC…
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Old May 20th 2022, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by Chris99 View Post
Hi there,

I had an AC10 – failing to stop after an accident conviction (5 points on licence, £120 fine) from Justice of Peace court in 2018 in Scotland. I had a really minor brush with a parked car and I did not leave details.

In 2020, I wanted to apply for a visa to travel to US. I had Indian passport. I declared the conviction in my application and got a police certificate from ACRO. The certificate came up with ‘No Trace’. Eventually, I did not go for visa interview as it was cancelled due to covid.

I now have British passport. Now, if I want to travel to US, can I answer ‘No’ to criminal conviction/CIMT and apply for ESTA or do I declare the conviction and apply for a visa?

Many thanks for your help!
General comment - providing false information on an immigration application is considered a very bad move.

Hit and run is considered a crime involving moral turpitude. You did go before a magistrate and received a penalty for the offense.
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Old May 21st 2022, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by Chris99 View Post
Just to clarify, I got the points and fine from a JP court and not via a FPN.
Still the same, it is a non recordable traffic offense. It is not a criminal conviction. It doesn't matter where the case was heard, traffic matters get heard by local magistrates, as well as criminal matters.
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Old May 21st 2022, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Answer the question as asked and be prepared to apply for a visa if esta is denied.
Getting busted for clipping a wing mirror of a parked car, or whatever , is interesting. Done that a few times with no consequences myself. (in younger days).
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Old May 21st 2022, 7:27 pm
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Default Re: ESTA with traffic offence

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Still the same, it is a non recordable traffic offense. It is not a criminal conviction. It doesn't matter where the case was heard, traffic matters get heard by local magistrates, as well as criminal matters.
The question also asks about arrests. And the terms “arrest” and “conviction” must be considered in the U.S., not U.K. sense. In fact, the terms must be examined in the U.S. Federal sense.

Also, OP says he disclosed on a prior visa application.
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