Immigration takes it badly but you qualify under the petty offense exception.
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I agree with Attorney Segal.
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I do these all the time and it is as good as a "not guilty" finding. You have to handle it properly in your immigration application and interview, or else you could muck it up. If I can be of assistance let me know. I also note that a couple of other lawyers have told you immigration takes this badly. You are in Chicago and I know that you went through the Theft deterrent school and had your case dismissed without admitting the facts alleged. I have had many similar cases in my practice, in Chicago,, including felony retail thefts, where the individual received a Green card, adjusted status to citizenship, or have traveled out if the country and back without trouble. The attorney that told you to bring a copy of your disposition with you to show POE that the case was dismissed gave you good advice. Do that and you will be fine