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I am currently planning a round the world trip and intend to be entering the USA at LAX coming from Fiji. I was involved in an accidental traffic collision in the UK and received a caution for careless driving.

I was never arrested or convicted but I'm not sure whether I can still travel on the ESTA form or if I need to get a visa. When I emailed the embassy I was directed to a checklist to see if I was eligible to get access and it seemed like I could go with the ESTA, but it also makes a point that the tool is just a guide and not definite confirmation that the ESTA is ok.

So does anyone know, or been in this kind of situation, whether or not I need to get a visa? Or should I try calling the embassy and see what they say, even though they are more likely to encourage applying for the visa?

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Unless you haven't paid the fine and now have a warrant outstanding I wouldn't worry about it.

Traffic offenses are only a concern if you have committed something serious like a vehicular manslaughter or if you basically ignored the summons or mandatory court appearance and now have a warrant issued for your arrest.

CBP discusses the subject of crimes but also provides you with the link to the definitinon of crimes for which your ESTA be denied. The list is too big to copy here but the only thing that involves vehicles is in fact manslaughter:

Involuntary, where the statute requires proof of recklessness, which is defined as the awareness and conscious disregard of a substantial and unjustified risk which constitutes a gross deviation from the standard that a reasonable person would observe in the situation. A conviction for the statutory offense of vehicular homicide or other involuntary manslaughter that only requires a showing of negligence will not involve moral turpitude even if it appears the defendant in fact acted recklessly

  • Ok that's great! Thanks very much. As you can imagine it's been a big worry as I don't want the end of my world trip to be denied entry for a stupid mistake. Thanks for the speedy and detailed response :D – Earpwald Feb 28 '14 at 16:00

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