Thank you for your patience;
so any conviction at all puts one's immigration status at risk. Generally the department is more concerned about crimes of moral turpitude, or aggravated felonies. The problem is there is not a published list, so to speak, to determine which convictions (and a guilty plea is a conviction) fall within these categories.
Genreally they will focus on convictions invovling fraud, larceny, dishonesty, DUIs, intent to harm a person/property. The idea is one's moral character.
A petty offense generally does not have as great of an impact if the sentencing is less than 1 year imprisonment, so long as time served is less than 6 months.
But time is also an issue; for example, an individual that has been here less than 5 years, or has prior issues, would be more likely to be scrutinized.
The concern is that a conviction becomes a public record, and in some states, public urniation is actually a sex offense, so that can create concerns, both from an immigration perspective and from a public records perspective (ie when applying for licenses, often a background check is conducted).
So it would be best to hire an attorney to see about getting the charges dismissed or reduced. This at least occurred during a favorable time, as even the local government has expressed concern over these types of citations, as normal law abiding individuals are often cited with this.
But given the possible reprecussions, it is best to avoid a conviction and to challenge it. If the officer does not appear, the court will typically dismiss it. Also, the prosecutor may not be interested in pursuing prosecution, so an attorney may be able to get a dismissal. The attorney can generally make an appearance on behalf of the client, or request a continuance if the individual is out of the state/country, so that will also be helpful.
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