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Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. Sorry to hear about the issue you're having.
I'll answer your questions as follows:
1. Please tell me what my options are I.e should/ could I appeal or just pay and forget.
Most people wouldn't appeal this because the cost of appealing it is probably greater than the fine ad costs. It wouldn't have any bearing on your visa status to have this plea on your record - so the choice is yours but if I were in the same position I wouldn't appeal.
2. Is this something I have to declare to my current or future employer?
If they ask - yes. Most states laws allow employer's to ask about misdemeanor convictions. Some employers will terminate or not consider employees with various criminal histories.
2. What impact this could have on my L1visa status 3. I travel frequently out of country for business could I be refused at POE?
This will not have an impact on your L1 status or your ability to reenter- the crimes that would call for deportation or denial of reentry are far more serious - like aggravated felonies, controlled substance, firearms, domestic violence, public security related crimes.
Let me know if you have any follow up questions or concerns - I'm happy to answer.
If it were me - I'd pay the fine and forget about it. It would be on your criminal record forever. Under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (which governs non-criminal checks on records) the max look back period is 7 years; that's the type of report an apartment manager would be looking at. Being that this happened very recently, I would not expect that it would yet be on any record that a non-law enforcement agency would have access to.
I don't know for sure, but I'm doubtful something as minor as this makes it into data sharing. My understanding is they only coordinate on major crimes.
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