I am an international student on F-1 visa. I got arrested for shoplifting and have a court date in a few weeks. My lawyer said I can get ACD with some community service and may have to pay some fee. I have certain questions in regard with immigration consequences because of all this as I will have to get my visa renewed after some time..
1.) Is community service considered as conviction for immigration purposes?
2.) Is court fee paid only when we plead guilty? Is court fee or any other fine considered as conviction from immigration point of view?
3.) I read this statement online- 'An ACD is a restraint given as a result of an NY state rehabilitation statute. If so, then this may be a conviction'. Are there different types of ACDs?
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, including the court disposition and the charging documents, in order to advise you, and handle the case.
While I am not sure about the state's criminal statutes, my understanding is that anything except a case dismissal or finding of innocence is a conviction for immigration purposes. Shoplifting will likely also be a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT). That said, it is a minor crime, and I believe will come under the petty crime exemption rules as long as no other CIMT exists.
In this case, I generally recommend clients get a crime memo prepared by an immigration attorney that can be used for entry to the US and for any immigration applications. I have had a very good result with the memos our office provides.
Dhenu Savla, Esq.
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