Jason writes, "When I was a teenager over 20 years ago for trespassing for which I was convicted and did community service as punishment. Naturally, I was not too good with keeping records, and have basically nothing with me related to that incident. Now, that I am entering my middle age and have finally realized the value of American citizenship, I want to file my N-400 application, but when I asked the court for a copy of my arrest, they told me that they do not have records beyond ten years. What should I do?"
Needless to add that you must disclose your arrest on your application and provide as much detail as possible. You will also need to attach a copy of the letter that you received from the court that no records can be provided. Chances are that during your background search, all the details about the arrest and court process will pop up. So the USCIS officer will be able to see what happened. In addition, expect to be questioned at length during the naturalization interview about the arrest. My advice would be that due to this complication (arrest, conviction, and lack of records), you might want to spend the money and hire a good attorney who deals with naturalization cases.