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Am I still eligible for a F1 visa and admission into the U.S.?

New York, NY |

I was caught shoplifting 4 cheap ear studs at Kmart. The person there took my information and had me sign some paperwork stating that I agree to the allegation and that I were not allowed in any Kmart stores. I didn't give him my ID and I wasn't fingerprinted. He also told me that I would be receiving a letter sometime soon telling me to pay the fine which doesn't have much to do with them but with the state. I asked him if this would go on my record and he told me no it wouldn't. I am a F1 college student in the U.S. and I am worried that if this goes on my record I will have trouble getting a student visa next time. Can I believe him when he told me that it would not go on my record? Please help! I've learned my lesson and I will never do it again.

The police was not called in the process. I've also learned that the letter he talked about should possibly be a civil demand letter, which does not involve state action.

Attorney Answers 5

  1. It will be in your record. I suggest that you hire an experienced immigration attorney who also handles criminal matters.

    Law Office of Luis A. Guerra (954) 434-5800. This answer is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as final, nor is it intended as legal advice.

  2. You should consult with a New York criminal lawyer to handle this matter in order for him to fashion an appropriate disposition of the matter for you that would not affect your future F-1 application. Yes, if there's a conviction (depending on the crime) it can impact your chances of being approved.

  3. I agree with my colleagues. Please hire an Immigration attorney familiar with criminal cases ASAP.

    This opinion is not intended or offered as legal advice. Transmission of the information is not intended to create, and receipt does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship between this site, the author(s), or the publisher, and you or any other user. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act, or fail to act, upon this information without seeking professional counsel.

  4. I'm inclined to agree with my colleagues that if you are paying a fine with the state, there will be a record of this. I would consult an experienced immigration and criminal attorney to see if the offense for which you are paying a fine could be set forth in such a way so that it would not be considered a "crime involving moral turpitide." Better yet would be if you did not even have to pay any fine with the state. Crimes involving moral turpitude may affect your future admissibility and could render you deportable depending on many factors.

    [Note: Consistent with Avvo policy, this communication is intended as general information and not specific legal advice, and this communication does not create an attorney-client relationship.]

    Curtis F. Pierce
    Attorney At Law
    Certified Specialist, Immigration & Nationality Law
    The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
    The Pacific Center
    523 West Sixth Street, Suite 348
    Los Angeles, California

    Tel: 213 327 0044

    Fax: 213 327 0066

  5. We need to review all of the paperwork to advise you properly. Crimes are serious issues when it comes to your immigration so you need to be careful. It is also important for you to note that you may have to disclose the event at some other point in the immigration process.

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