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Accused of shoplifting in Century 21, no police or finger print involved

Flushing, NY |

I tried to get an item discounted illegally in Century 21 in NY.
The item was not on sale but I took off a sale sticker from the other item and put the sticker on the item I wanted to have.
They found it out and took me in a room and got my information (name/address/social security number, etc). They also took me a photo. They said that it will not affect anything but I will need to pay for some fine ticket.
I am a foreigner on OPT Visa. I am worried that it would affect me something when I re-enter U.S. later. Also, I am trying to have social work NY state license, have H1 visa, and work at a company. I am wondering if it would remain in my any record and affect those situations. Please help me out. Thank you

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Attorney answers 3


If you were not arrested, it won't affect anything. If you get a letter demanding payment, don't pay it. You would be wise to invest in a consultation with an atttorney who knows about criminal defense, immigration, and licensing issues.


Consult with an immigration lawyer if you are arrested. If you are not arrested, then do nothing.

If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or


If you were not arrested then you do not and can not have a criminal record. You will receive letters and calls from Michael Ira Asen, Century 21's lawyer, seeking a civil demand of 5 times the value of the goods up to $500. I advise my clients not to pay because I've never seen him sue to collect. I write him a letter for my clients and he can no longer contact my clients. You got lucky you were not attested.

I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012 and 2013. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. Martindale-Hubbell has given me its highest rating - AV Preeminent - in the areas of Criminal Law, Personal Injury, and Litigation. According to Martindale-Hubbell”AV Preeminent is a significant rating accomplishment - a testament to the fact that a lawyer's peers rank him or her at the highest level of professional excellence." Fewer than 8% of attorneys achieve an AV Preeminent rating. I also have the highest ranking – “superb” – on Avvo. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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