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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 29024
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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Writing letter circumstances related to dismissed petty

Customer Question

writing letter for extenuating circumstances related to dismissed petty theft charge (through diversion program).
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Is this an immigration law related question?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I just had my naturalization interview. I was asked to write a letter within 30 days to address this charge. I have a couple of recommendation letters and some community service time to add. I'm wondering what to write in this letter or what not to write. Can you provide me with an example or perhaps a sample letter.
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

There is no "sample" letter because each case has it's own facts.

I need to know:

1. Where were you charged and when was the case dismissed?

2. What did you steal?

3. What was in the police report/

4. Was there some special circumstance that made you resort to theft?

5. What community service have you done? Was it part of your diversion or did you volunteer on your own?

6. How old are you?

7. Who wrote your recommendation letters? Did they know of your criminal history?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
1. Charged in June 2011, dismissed a year later in June 2012 in Olympia, WA
2. Cell phone
3. I don't recall but I can find out. It mostly the description of the charge name of the plaintiff, location, value of the phone.
4. Not really. I very stupid mistake I made when I was drunk.
5. The community service was not part of my diversion. I volunteered at Department of Corrections IT department during my internship in college for about 5 months doing database administration (computer work). I made a website to a local bar in the community for free as part of a school project. I volunteered at a local hospital/clinic to set up their computers/printers and technology infrastructure.6. I'm currently 26.
7. My team lead at the Department of corrections wrote one. The second one is from a manager at the private clinic I volunteered at.
No, they don't know of my history. I'm very ashamed of it as it is.
Expert:  Judith Ludwic replied 1 year ago.

Basically you have just written the letter!

You will start out with the following as elements in the letter:

1. Date and place of charge

2. Circumstances surrounding the arrest. You need to admit to having been under the influence and whether you knew the person whose phone you took.

3. You will give the value of the phone and whether you returned the phone to the police or the owner.

4. You need to make a statement what action you have taken regarding your drinking habit and whether you have stopped drinking as a result of learning the harm it creates.

5. Set out the efforts you have taken to give back to the community. I don't think you should mention the work for the bar! You want to make yourself look to avoid bars, PERIOD.

You do not have to inform your character witnesses of your criminal history. They do not need to include that in their letter but should speak to your good moral character, honesty and trustworthy attributes.

Generally, USCIS can take into consideration ANY act regardless of whether there were criminal consequences that reflect on good moral character within 5 years of your application for naturalization.

If you know your blood alcohol level and it was relatively low, you may want to include that but definitely you want to express you have learned the dangers of alcohol and have stayed away from it since this incident.

I hope I’ve provided the information you were seeking. If you are happy with my service, please provide a positive rating. If not, please let me know so l can continue to help you.. In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert. Understand, it is my job to be honest and truthful about the law and sometimes the law does not give you the solution or options you want. If you feel I earned a BONUS, I am grateful. I will remember you and review our question history. Thank you.