When you apply to become a United States citizen, you need to tell the government about any crime you have been involved with. This is true even if you were only arrested, but not convicted. You will also need to go through a background check and fingerprinting.
There are many different criminal convictions that can keep you from becoming a citizen. If you are found guilty of one of these crimes and you apply to become a citizen, the government will reject your application.
If the conviction is serious enough, the government may also place you in deportation, or removal, proceedings to take away your lawful permanent resident (LPR) status and deport you.
Also, in order to apply to become a citizen in the US you have to show that you have had good moral character for the 5 years before the application.
If you become a citizen, and the government later finds out that you did not list a crime you were found guilty of on your application, your citizenship can be taken away. This means that you can lose your citizenship if you do not tell the government about the conviction.
If you have a criminal conviction or arrest, it is best to talk with an immigration lawyer before filing an application for citizenship.
Updated: September 2017