First up, this is a great website, so well done to everyone who runs it. I am very confused about the issue of entry to the US for the following reasons:
1) I understand that the test of whether someone is eligible or not to enter is in fact the ESTA form. There, it asks if you have ever been involved in a crime of moral torptitude or a controlled substance. I have a summary ABH conviction (June 2010) for which I received a community order, and can therefore answer "no" and will receive confirmation that I can travel on the VWP. I understand that by doing this, I will also have to fill out a form on the plane that asks the same question, again for which I can answer "no". Anecdotal evidence from a number of people who have been to the US seems to back this up as a legitimate route to entry.
2) However, the advice from the US embassy website seems to contradict this, by stating that anyone with any arrest whatsoever must apply for a visa. Now I'd rather not do this due to cost, hassle, and also that having a visa does not guarantee entry (for example, Pete Doherty was given a visa and was barred from US entry).
Therefore, whos advice do I follow? The Homelands Security, which seems to suggest I can fill in the ESTA form, which will in effect give me permission to travel on the VWP, or the US embassy in London?
The background to this is that I would very much like to travel to Las Vegas with my wife!