Would a withdrawn shoplifting charge affect the status of my immigration I485? 8 Answers as of September 09, 2011

I am in the process of filling my I-485 and 4.5 years ago I was charged with shoplifting a small amount. The charge was withdrawn and I have no criminal record. This is my only offense ever and it happened in Canada. Will my application be denied? Should I get an immigration lawyer?

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Pacifica Legal Services
Pacifica Legal Services | Floyd Fernandez
The fact that the charge was withdrawn does not end the matter, if the facts as the police report or the charge show an admission of an act of theft, it can be a disqualifier, unless shown to be a petty offense. You will need an immigration lawyer. If you wish to do so, please feel free to call or e-mail me to set up an appointment.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/9/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Reza Athari
By saying withdrawn, I assume it was never filed with the court or the prosecutor asked the court to dismiss the case. If that is the case, you have no criminal conviction for immigration purposes. Remember even if a case was dismissed after you pled guilty, it may still be considered conviction for immigration purposes. A good immigration attorney will be able to help you either way.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 7/20/2011
Fong & Associates
Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
A minor shoplifting charge that has been dropped should not affect your permanent residence. On the forms, be sure to disclose the arrest, charge and disposition. Its always a good idea to at least consult with an attorney to review your case.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/20/2011
Pauly P.A.
Pauly P.A. | Clemens W. Pauly
You will need to have a certified copy of the Canadian arrest records and the court disposition. You are also well advised to at least consult with a US immigration lawyer as to the process of filing the I-130/I-485 package and the interview. Good luck with your case.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 7/20/2011
Verdin Law Firm, LLC
Verdin Law Firm, LLC | Isaul Verdin
You will have to disclose the incident, and provide criminal documents to show the dismissal. However, you should not have a problem with the case. You may consider hiring a lawyer for the limited purpose of explaining the immigration consequences of the criminal incident. Best of luck.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 7/20/2011
    Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law
    Christian Schmidt, Attorney at Law | Christian Schmidt
    You should get an immigration lawyer. It appears that you were at least arrested. The arrest must be disclosed on your adjustment application and you must provide documentation regarding the outcome. It depends on the outcome of the arrest whether it will been an issue.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    The Law Offices Jonathan D Montag
    The Law Offices Jonathan D Montag | Jonathan D Montag
    Dear Sir or Madame: I can respond to your question in general terms. Do not construe this response as legal advice as I would have to meet with you and learn a lot more facts about your case to see if the general principles in my answer apply to your specific case or if facts in your case make the general principle inapplicable. Generally speaking: Ordinarily, admissions to crimes or convictions for crimes are the only way that criminal conduct can render a person inadmissible. The definition of a conviction at INA 101a48 is quite expansive and guilty pleas that are expunged or diverted are most often still considered convictions. A charge that is withdrawn before finding so guilt are made, a conviction is rendered, or a plea made are usually not convictions. Convictions that are withdrawn because of innocence or legal error are also most often not not convictions. Also, there is in exception for one petty moral turpitude crime so that it does not render one inadmissible. See INA 212a2Aii. California petty theft is such a crime. I cannot schedule an appointment through email. Please call me to schedule an appointment.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
    Clifford Togo Sakata
    Clifford Togo Sakata | Clifford Togo Sakata
    Hi, Yes. You should contact an immigration attorney. Your crime may fall under the petty offense section and you may still be able to adjust.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/20/2011
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