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Charged with Shoplifting , will it effect my immigration status and citizenship.

Wheeling, IL |

I was caught shoplifting in a local store they called cops and I was arrested. I was finger printed and photographed, released on bail amount. With a court date next month in December this is my first ever case I never had anything in the past. But now Iam very sorry and feeling very bad as I have done this I don't know what to next, with a conviction I will have issues with immigration, employment and citizen ship, I have wife and son who are citizens. Please advice me what I need to do for not getting convicted with out any effect to my immigration and citizenship.

The vale of the stuff was less than $16.00 .

Attorney Answers 7


  1. Best answer

    I strongly advise you to have an attorney represent you on this case. Unfortunately, a retail theft charge can indeed have immigration consequences. Federal immigration law considers this a crime of moral turpitude. Be very careful about the disposition of this case. A disposition of supervision, while not a conviction for purposes of Illinois state law, may nevertheless be counted against you by immigration. If your criminal defense attorney is not fully familiar with the immigration implications of this case, an immigration attorney should be consulted as part of your defense.


  2. Hi, it really depends on your current status and what you're charged with/convicted for. In Illinois unless it's a big $$$ amount it should be a petty offense.

    Call both an immigration attorney and criminal defense attorney.


  3. I agree with my colleagues. You want to consult with both a criminal lawyer and immigration lawyer.


  4. Retail theft of any amount whatsoever is a criminal offense in Illinois, unless the local municipality chooses to charge under their local ordinance, and then it may be criminal depending on how their ordinance is written.
    Depending on the value of the items taken, you may be charged with either a class A misdemeanor (punishable by up to 364 days in jail and up to $2500 in fines) or with a felony offense.
    Either is serious, and a knowledgable criminal defense attorney with experience in the Court where your case will be heard will be able to explore your options. Those options may include ways of keeping this case off your record, and avoiding any negative impact on your immigration status.

    My answer is not an agreement for representation. No such agreement can be made with myself or my firm without an express agreement between the parties. Any answer I give is based entirely on the information you provided, and for a more complete and accurate answer, you should always speak with an attorney personally.


  5. Shoplifting in IL is a Class A misdemeanor criminal offense if charged as a violation of state law but may be a lesser degree offense if charged under a local ordinance. Either way, you should definitely be represented by counsel when you go to court because a conviction may have adverse immigration consequences for you. If you have no prior criminal record, it may be possible to have your case resolved without a conviction being entered against you. Going into court with a good lawyer is a big step towards getting it resolved in the most favorable way possible.


  6. You definitely need to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney to avoid this becoming an immigration issue. Most of us can achieve a result that will end in a dismissal or at least a disposition short of a conviction, assuming the case cannot otherwise be successfully defended. Most of us offer free consultations. www.galivanlaw.net


  7. Depending on what part of the immigration journey you are currently in, you will likely need an immigration attorney to evaluate whether this Crime Involving Moral Turpitude will affect your immigration process. Generally speaking, a single crime, that is minor, can be waived under a petty-offense exception. You should definitely contact an immigration and criminal attorney privately.

    Dhenu Savla, Esq.
    SwagatUSA, LLC
    www.swagatusa.com/attorney

    This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not meant to be relied upon as legal advice.

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