How do you know if you're convicted of a crime and what you're charged with?

Asked over 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

When I was 15 years old I was caught shoplifting. I got a ticket, had to attended mandatory classes and got booked in and finger printed by the police. I payed the ticket, finished the mandatory classes and went to court. But not judge ever saw me. They said my name was not there. I signed a paper to show that I had appeared at court and they said I was ok to go home. I am18 almost 19 years old now and I know I made a big mistake which I regret.

My question is I recently got a background check and it says I was charge with 488 PC on 06/12/2009 disposition unknown.

Does it mean I was convicted? and I have a criminal record? even though no judge convicted me to. To add to my miserable life I am an undocumented student who wants to apply for deferred action. Can I apply?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. J Charles Ferrari

    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Probably.

    The immigration consequences of convictions depend on the exact language of the statute under which the conviction took place.

    You need to retain an experienced immigration lawyer to review all the facts, advise you, and handle the case.

    1. Obama's action is a policy and not a law. It is not an Act.

    2. Obama's policy does not provide immigration status. It only prevents qualifying individuals from being deported and may provide them with a work permit.

    3. There are serious risks in applying as it can be terminated as early as January 2013 if Mr. Romney is elected President.

    J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not... more
  2. Joshua Kaizuka


    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . On the issue of the juvenile delinquency charge, it sounds like you were given some type of informal probation pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code section 654 or even a police department diversion program where you participate in some classes or community service without a petition being filed in juvenile court. If you have not had any problems since the incident when you were 15 years old, you may be able to petition to have your juvenile record sealed and destroyed. You should contact an experienced juvenile delinquency attorney in your area to see if you are eligible to do so. As to the immigration issues, I leave that to the immigration lawyers. Good Luck!

Related Topics


If you want to visit or move permanently to the US, you'll want to learn about your different immigration options.

Criminal charges and immigration status

When immigrants to the US face criminal charges, they also face consequences that could impact their status.

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