Immigration Law Questions? Ask an Immigration Lawyer.
I understand that retail theft is a crime and it can account for CIMT under immigration laws. But in the state of Wisconsin, retail theft can be criminal or a civil offense. I got a non-criminal civil citation for retail theft with no mandatory municipal court appearance. The statute under which i am charged has a maximum forfeiture of unto $500. If one does a repeat offense of the same nature then he/she is tried under state criminal law. So this matter at hand is not a criminal offense. A person can be deported or becomes inadmissible if found guilty of CIMT and the law further states that one can be eligible for petty offense exemption if it is the only offense and the maximum punishment under state law is less than a year and he or she should not have convicted to 6months or more in jail term. Again in my case the statute says the maximum penalty is only fine. So how come it can be treated as a crime?
I was trying to ask if I say "yes" in the column what impact it would be having on H1B visa stamping given that it is just a civil citation no-more-no-less-than-a-speeding-ticket and what all documents do you recommend that I should carry with me? I also did research and found out that immigration officials cannot make a criminal case out of a civil municipal ordinance violation. What is your take on this? I agree, had it been a criminal citation it would definitely be impacting a non-immigrant alien. Looking forward to your answer.
The problem is that the records that the government can access are more extensive than what a private person can access.
INA § 101(a)(48), the definition of a conviction. It states that:
(A) The term "conviction" means, with respect to an alien, a formal judgment of guilt of the alien entered by a court or, if adjudication of guilt has been withheld, where-
(i) a judge or jury has found the alien guilty or the alien has entered a plea of guilty or nolo contendere or has admitted sufficient facts to warrant a finding of guilt, and
(ii) the Judge has ordered some form of punishment, penalty, or restraint on the alien's liberty to be imposed.
(B) Any reference to a term of imprisonment or a sentence with respect to an offense is deemed to include the period of incarceration or confinement ordered by a court of law regardless of any suspension of the imposition or execution of that imprisonment or sentence in whole or in part.
Because it is such a minor issue that wouldn't normally result in a finding of inadmissibility, the safer thing to do would be to say "yes" in response to that question and provide certified copies of any report and court disposition.
The thing is that while this is a minor issue a may not even be, as you say, a crime, there is a very good chance that it will not have any affect on your process. BUT if you say "no" and it does pop up in their records, then having "lied" about it (that's how they will see it) could end up in a denial. So it may be better to disclose and handle it like that.
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Hello. I see that you have viewed my responses. Are you having technical difficulties that you cannot respond? Is there something more that I can answer for you?
What all documents do I need to carry with me?
What a visa officer or an officer at port of entry can ask?
Do I need to show at all that my case falls in petty offense exemption? Although I donot think so considering non-criminal nature of charge.
If ever I have to prove to them that it falls under petty offense exemption (worst case scenario) then what all documents do I need to produce?
Reviewing all the case, can the visa stamping immigration officials deny me entry based on this offense?
Please can you clarify these queries for me, I will gladly rate your answer.
Thanks! I do have a certified docket of court disposition but obtaining a certified police record is taking 8 weeks and I am planning to leave well before (i have applied though). I just obtained uncertified copy of all contacts with Madison Police and the incidence shows up in there, will this do? I have certified copies from sheriff's Dept. (that shows no contact with them) and criminal background from CIB WI Dept. of Justice (shows no record in my name).
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