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legalgems
legalgems, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Just Answer consultant at Self employed
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My fiancé, Michal Wojciechowski, was visiting NYC with a few

Customer Question

My fiancé, Michal Wojciechowski, was visiting NYC with a few colleagues and received a Criminal Court Appearance Ticket for public urination a few weeks ago. Thankfully he was cited under NYC Section 16.118 (civil charge/ violation).
We know that it is only a civil charge and he could simply fill out a form and transfer $50, however as we are planning to move to NYC and open a business there (which requires a license to operate) we would rather avoid this charge. Unless you advise us that we pay the ticket and it just goes away bearing in mind it is a misdemeanor. Simple as that. It is important to say that he is of Polish nationality and he was only in NYC on business/tourist purposes for 3 days. He is currently back in Poland and he will not be able to attend any court hearings.
Please kindly advise. Unless it will affect Michal’s green card and business license application the future. If this is the case, what are the chances to dismiss this violation by a judge? Huge thank you, Inga
JA: Because traffic laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: NYC
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: My fiancé, Michal Wojciechowski, was visiting NYC with a few colleagues and received a Criminal Court Appearance Ticket for public urination a few weeks ago. Thankfully he was cited under NYC Section 16.118 (civil charge/ violation). We know that it is only a civil charge and he could simply fill out a form and transfer $50, however as we are planning to move to NYC and open a business there (which requires a license to operate) we would rather avoid this charge. Unless you advise us that we pay the ticket and it just goes away bearing in mind it is a misdemeanor. Simple as that. It is important to say that he is of Polish nationality and he was only in NYC on business/tourist purposes for 3 days. He is currently back in Poland and he will not be able to attend any court hearings. Please kindly advise. Unless it will affect Michal’s green card and business license application the future. If this is the case, what are the chances to dismiss this violation by a judge? Huge thank you, Inga
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Did you get my note regarding my fiance? ok
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

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.

Further questions? Please post here to continue the chat.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Michal was in NYC on tourist purposes. It was his first time there. Has never committed any offenses in the USA beforehand and has never committed any in Poland too. If we decide to go to court, would you like to represent him? If so, how much would this cost? Thank you, Inga
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

I'm sorry; I am limited to only providing legal information on this forum, per my agreement with the site. I am glad to hear that he has no other offenses - that can be very helpful in getting the prosecutor to drop the charges. It is important to hire a criminal law attorney that has experience because s/he will be more likely to know which prosecutor is more prone to dismissing/plea bargaining such cases.

You can find an attorney here

Fees really do vary as it depends on the person's experience, prestige, location, etc. So you can call around; but many criminal law attorneys do charge a flat fee so in that case there would be no hidden fees.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
No worries, thank you. I understand. Any idea how much roughly the flat fee is going to be?
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

These cases tend to be less complicated so you may be able to find an attorney for $1,000, maybe less. These aren't as complicated as, say, a DUI, where the legal fees can easily be $5,000.

The attorney may have a 2 tier system: one price if it settles, one price for trial.

You are welcome!

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you for all the information. We will hire an attorney as advised. Many thanks, Inga
Expert:  legalgems replied 5 months ago.

Great; the best to you and your fiancee (and congratulations on your impending nuptials btw!)