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Can i get deported for petty theft im underage in california?

Sacramento, CA |
Filed under: Immigration

I am an illegal immigrant and I'm underage and me and a group of friends took $67 of clothes at a department store. We got caught by store security, not a cop and we have to go to court for petty theft. My friends are going to plead guilty. They have a video, they said if we plead guilty we would have to pay a fine and do community service to take it off our record. Is it different from me ? Will or can I get deported? Is there something I can do so I won't get deported? I am in high school and a straight student never before been in trouble with the law before and first time offender. I live in sacramento California

I got a letter in the mail to pay 250$ fine to the store it came from there lawyer what happens then? they took our info and finger prints also they said something about a warrant in the mail to.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Here is how the system works in juvenile land. The probation will review the reports. If there were no cops involved then the probation department would unlikely review this anyway. But if they do - then probation is going to decide whether you should be punished. Then can refer the case to the District Attorney for a criminal prosecution. If you are prosecuted you will get a court date. At the court date you can ask for an attorney if your family has not already hired one.

    You face immigration issues if you admit guilt or you can face immigration issues just for the fact that you are illegal. The system is not fair and immigrants get treated differently.

    The good news is the NO COP was involved. That tells me that the court system is not likely to get involved. IF you get a letter from either probation or the court to come to in for some reason - beg your mom and dad to hire you a lawyer. But i dont think it is going to get that far.

    I think you got lucky.

    The above information does not establish an attorney client relationship nor is it meant to provide legal advice.


  2. Although petty theft standing alone is not a deportable offense, since you are illegal, there is no telling what might happen to you.

    Please see

    (213) 394-4554 x0 Mr. Shusterman is a former INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) with over 35 years of immigration experience. His response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.


  3. Agree with my colleagues here. There is always a risk of deportation for someone who is here illegally, that risk increases with any criminal charge, even if dismissed. However, petty offenses such as yours are not generally death knells for immigration benefits or relief from deportation if one is eligible for either.

    Grady G Gauthier
    ggauthier@ggauthierlaw.com

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