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General discussion on ACPO certificates

General discussion on ACPO certificates

Old May 19th 2012, 12:02 am
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Default General discussion on ACPO certificates

In my long association with BE, I have seen many discussions of the ACPO police certificate and the contents thereof. To be honest, until this week I had never personally seen one of those certificates.

I am now looking at one in preparation of a "212(h)" waiver application [a second one since the first one failed].

The cover letter takes note of three possible terms: "No trace," "No Live Trace" or "Further Information Stepped Down."

"No Trace" is a perfectly clean record.

"No Live Trace" shows that there IS something in the Police National Computer [PNC] but will not be on the police certificate but has been "stepped down." It is specifically noted "although your conviction(s) have been 'stepped down' they still form part of your criminal history and it is your responsibility to declare them in accordance with the conditions of your visa application."

Again, "No Live Trace" is NOT, repeat NOT a clean record.

"Further Information Stepped Down" indicates that only some the information held on the PNC has been 'stepped down."

Now the particular Police Certificate contains a "Summary of Convictions and Reprimands/Warnings/Cautions In Accordance With The Retention Guidelines and Stepdown Model." This is truly a summary giving date, offence, court and disposal. In particular, the "offence" contains only a short description and not the actual offence committed.

In the case before me, we also have a Certificate verifying the conviction, but also just give the date, general description and sentence.

In the one before the Police Certificate shows "Using False Instrument for Other than Prescription For Scheduled Drug." I had to contact a solicitor in the UK with a factual description to obtain the actual statutory provision. [The client is no longer in the UK having been deported therefrom].

The Caution is for "Destroy or Damage Property (Value of Damage 5000.00 or Less)." The caution was not used as a basis of denial of the visa, but WAS used as a negative discretionary factor in denial of the waiver. I am awaiting a factual description from the client.
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Old May 19th 2012, 11:27 am
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

That's very useful. From what you have seen, how do you think an arrest (from over 20 years ago) that did not lead to a conviction (charges were dropped and the case dismissed) would be represented on the ACPO certificate?
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Old May 19th 2012, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
That's very useful. From what you have seen, how do you think an arrest (from over 20 years ago) that did not lead to a conviction (charges were dropped and the case dismissed) would be represented on the ACPO certificate?
I cannot really say. However, it strikes me that it would be consistent for "NO TRACE" to appear in the situation you describe.

I know that the California State Department of Justice reports [based upon fingerprints] no show arrests with a notation of "Pros reject" or "pros declined." It used to be a big problem that dispositions would often not be noted. We recently used a CA-DOJ report combined with LA County Superior Court certificate of no cases having ever been filed to clean up a "hit" in immigration records from 1982. [That is NOT a typo].
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Old May 19th 2012, 4:09 pm
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
That's very useful. From what you have seen, how do you think an arrest (from over 20 years ago) that did not lead to a conviction (charges were dropped and the case dismissed) would be represented on the ACPO certificate?
Is should as Mr F says, show No Trace, providing that is the only time you have been arrested. If you have been arrested and convicted at another time(s), the matter you mention should not be on the certificate.
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Old May 19th 2012, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

Thank you.
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Old Jun 16th 2012, 7:51 am
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

I just wanted to add to this the experience my hubby recently had with his ACPO report. (Just in my mind this shows how the report can cause confusion.)

My hubby had a drink driving conviction 12 years ago. He was arrested, went to court, plead guilty and convicted. He received a 1 year ban and £250 fine.

We went through all kinds of hoops trying to obtain some form of court record showing the penalty received for the conviction. In Scotland (where we live and the offence occured) records of such offences are destroyed and wiped from the record after 10 years if no more offences occur. So, we had an adventure trying to get something/ anything which actually showed that he had in fact been charged and subsequently convicted of Drink Driving. Eventually we managed to get a print out of the conviction which is an A4 sheet of paper with about 5 lines on it and a letter from the court stating the original records have been destroyed.

So this all happened prior to receiving the ACPO report back. As you can imagine, we fully expected for the report to come back with "No Live Trace", however a week later we received the report back and even though we informed ACPO of the previous conviction and sent a copy of the information obtained from the court, his certificate came back "No Trace".

This now opens up a whole new can of worms for us in regards to his CR-1 application. He will be ticking yes on his DS-230 stating he has previously been convicted of a crime. However, is this not going to cause confusion for the CO at the interview? He is saying "Yes, I have been convicted of a crime" but his ACPO report is saying "No Trace" is a perfectly clean record.

I am not expecting any advice on this situation, as I have previously asked about this in my own thread. But just though it relevant to share our experience with ACPO report on this thread.

PS sorry for the long post, tried to compact as much info in as little space as possible
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Old Jun 16th 2012, 9:42 am
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

Just to also update this with regard to my own situation.

My attorney informed me I would need an ACPO certificate to take to my interview for my E2 application as I had answered 'yes' to the relevant question for the DS-160 form. I obtained it and it does indeed say 'No Trace' - subsequently, the attorney has completed the DS-160 on my behalf and included, in addition to the 'yes' response (to arrests, etc), detail that it was in 1991 and that no conviction came about as the charges were dropped.
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Old Jun 16th 2012, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

Originally Posted by MrsWaring View Post
This now opens up a whole new can of worms for us in regards to his CR-1 application.
Why?


He will be ticking yes on his DS-230 stating he has previously been convicted of a crime.
Good... since it's the truth.


However, is this not going to cause confusion for the CO at the interview?
No, of course not.


He is saying "Yes, I have been convicted of a crime" but his ACPO report is saying "No Trace" is a perfectly clean record.
No Trace translates more to "no record found" rather than "clean record". They're not the same thing. You're worrying about a non-issue.

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Old Jun 16th 2012, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

I am not concerned as such... just wanting to share our experience. You lovely helpful people had already assisted in easing my concerns in my own thread.
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Old Jun 16th 2012, 3:31 pm
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Default Re: General discussion on ACPO certificates

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
Just to also update this with regard to my own situation.

My attorney informed me I would need an ACPO certificate to take to my interview for my E2 application as I had answered 'yes' to the relevant question for the DS-160 form. I obtained it and it does indeed say 'No Trace' - subsequently, the attorney has completed the DS-160 on my behalf and included, in addition to the 'yes' response (to arrests, etc), detail that it was in 1991 and that no conviction came about as the charges were dropped.
This would have been what I would have done also.

Just in general, it is not at all uncommon for discrepancies to arise between databases and court records. A certificate of "no record" from the official custodian of records often works wonders. Also in general, the official "no record" statement allows introduction of "secondary" evidence. [This usually arose in the context of birth records.]
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