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Shoplifted and interview for n 400

Carrollton, TX |

I had fingerprint on 09/27/13 and on 10/13/13 made mistake ,was arrested for shoplifting.now i received letter from USCIS for interview , what i need to do please advice, i do not have any papers for my arrest because case no was filed yet . Can you advice me what i need to tell them when they will ask about my criminal record.This is my first arrest in my life.Happened in Texas
Thank you

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Tell your examiner the truth--exactly what you described here. If you still don't have a final court disposition, the examiner will give you time to get those documents, and delay making a final decision. In the meantime, get an immigration attorney looking at the criminal issue instantly. Depending on the final outcome of the case, this could impact not only your ability to naturalize, but could put you at risk for being placed in removal proceedings.


  2. Best to withdraw or not appear at your N-400 interview. No matter what you are ultimately convicted of, petty theft or simple "trespass to chattels" ( if hire a smart private criminal defense attorney and NOT a free "public" defender) , you will still not b e able to be naturalized, since you'll be given probation of at least 3 years. Someone on probation is not eligible for citizenship.

    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.


  3. This is a very delicate situation, and of course, you need to contact a good criminal law attorney that can help you with any and all issues that may come up. You should never lie, but also, you will need to fight the criminal charges in order to evade any issues.

    Good luck!

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  4. You must seek legal advice immediately to determine if this offense puts your Legal Permanent Residency at risk (might not be the case, but must check before your interview). Also, you will probably have a problem to demonstrate the "Good Moral Character" requirement to naturalize.

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