Wamego, KS asked in Immigration Law for Kansas

Q: What happens to an illegal immigrant who was caught shoplifting something less than $30 w/ no bad record?

The manager did not press charges, was not arrested, but has a court date.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Joanne  Diez
Joanne Diez

A: I would need more specific information such as what was the actual charge as filed by the State Attorney. While the State Attorney may offer him a plea that includes no jail or probation, a withhold of adjudication is a conviction under immigration law. For immigration purposes, it will not matter if he has no prior record. An illegal immigrant and even a Lawful permanent resident will be placed in removal proceedings when there is a criminal charge on their record. In Florida, often times the State Attorney will proceed with a criminal case regardless of whether or not the victim wants to go forward. It is vital that the immigrant consult with an attorney prior to making any decisions regarding the criminal matter.

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Joshua L. Goldstein
Joshua L. Goldstein
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA

A: If someone who is "illegal" or undocumented comes into contact with law enforcement, this could be the beginning of a process that leads to deportation. Even though the manager didn't press charges, this person must appear at a hearing for a "court date." Agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) could be "working the courts" looking to arrest people without any valid immigration status.

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