It's my first offence ever, charged with conversion misdeamenor.
That would depend on the value of the theft, restitution, and a number of other factors. Theft is considered a crime of moral turpitude and could affect your immigration status. I suggest you speak with both a criminal and immigration attorney.
So, you are not a US citizen yet! That means if convicted you are inadmissible due to CIMT. And you will be finding yourself in removal proceedings in court. Hire a good lawyer to help you with this charge and obtain a lesser inclusive offense. You have to cancel you citizenship and wait 5 years from the date of arrest.
The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter,nor should it be viewed as establishing an attorney client relationship of any kind.
I agree with Mr. Shabani about hiring an attorney. You need someone who can handle both immigration and criminal defense. It's VERY important to properly handle the situation.
It's difficult to know what your chances are of obtaining citizenship. That will depend on the rest of your application, too. The problem with a shoplifting case is it comments on good moral character (GMC). GMS is essential to approval of your N-400.
You will also need to disclose the arrest when you go in for your interview. Talk to an immigration attorney about how to address the issue.
You need to hire a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with immigration issues to help you with this. As the other attorneys have noted, this could be a Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT) and could derail your attempt to gain citizenship.
Depending on the circumstances in your case, it may be possible to get a diversion which could ultimately avoid a conviction. For immigration purposes, this could count as a conviction for a CIMT if you BOTH (1) admit sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt, and (2) the Judge orders some form of punishment, penalty, or restraint on your liberty. It is important, then, that your criminal defense attorney understand that if you are eligible for a diversion, that you cannot do both of those things. If this is in Marion County, it might be possible to avoid having this used against you for immigration purposes - IF your attorney knows your immigration issues.
I strongly encourage you to retain a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with immigration issues. After your attorney has had the opportunity to review all of the facts in your case, they should be able to provide you with advice regarding whether it may be possible to avoid having a conviction, or to avoid having this used agaisnt you for immigration purposes. That attorney is your best opportunity protect yourself, and to ensure that you do not say or agree to anything which might not be in your best interests.
It is absolutely important that you make sure your attorney knows about your immigration concerns.
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