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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 26776
Experience:  18 years of criminal litigation experience.
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I'm a student in the U.S. on an F-1 visa. I have been

Customer Question

Hello! I'm a student in the U.S. on an F-1 visa. I have been charged (given a juvenile summons) for a possession of alcohol. I will need to appear in court in a few weeks. Will this anyhow affect my future visa renewals? If so, how and what can I do to prevent that?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
My name is ***** ***** I will be assisting you with this question.
This is not a very serious offense, and particularly if it is going to be handled in juvenile court, you're likely to be eligible for a diversion program, meaning that you will not have to plead guilty to this offense and if you comply with all of the conditions the court imposes upon you -- fines, community service, anti-alcohol classes, staying out of further trouble with the law -- the charge will be dismissed.
As such, it should not affect your present status or your future visa renewals, though you will be expected to disclose this to Immigration. So you want to make sure you get paperwork showing what you've been charged with and the official outcome of this case, so that you can explain this if necessary.
Nevertheless, it would be a good idea to make sure you have a lawyer when you go to court. If you get one now, well before the court date, he may be able to negotiate something in view of your age and your status to get this matter dismissed altogether. Failing that, he can work to ensure a diversion opportunity, which would be the next best thing.