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Impact of first offense Petty Theft of $58 on Immigration Status. What impact does this have on my permanent residence status?

Riverview, FL |

I was arrested over the weekend and release the next day. The offense I was arrested for is my first and only offense ever. I have been charged with Petty Theft ($58 in merchandise) and I am currently awaiting notification of my court date. I need a criminal defense lawyer who is also competent in Immigration law.

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Attorney answers 4


The first offense of petty theft should have no effect on your immigration status. Make sure you don't do that again and hire a competent criminal defense lawyer to take care of this, and perhaps lower it to "trespass on chattels", "disorderly conduct" or something like that.

Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


repost your question under immigration. it's a good question.

These materials have been prepared by the Law Offices of Heath D. Harte, LLC for informational purposes only and are not intended, and should not be construed as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, a lawyer-client relationship. Likewise, any submission or receipt of information using this online communication, does not create a lawyer-client relationship. Internet subscribers and online readers should not act upon any of the information provided without seeking professional counsel.


None. But you will only be cut some slack once. Remember that.

The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,not should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.


If you hire a criminal defense attorney who does not have any knowledge of immigration law, you should ask him to consult with an immigration attorney before entering any pleas, etc. Although it sounds like your offense, if the only one you have ever had, would qualify for what is called the petty offense exception in immigration law, there may be advantages to pursuing other forms of relief in your criminal case than, for example, a quick no contest plea. A diversion program agreement with the prosecutor's office might be more helpful to you than relying only on the petty offense exception. You should likely schedule an in-office consultation with an immigration attorney.

This answer is for general information purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship. You should seek qualified immigration legal counsel who can review your case in depth and provide you with advice specific to your situation. To schedule a free initial consultation with Attorney Kevin D. Slattery, call +1-813-839-7474 or email him at

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