Q: Will I go to jail?
I live in Michigan, I am a single Mom. I have full custody of my child, his father has visitation.
I recently got a citation for local ordinance misdemeanor 3rd degree retail fraud. I wasn't taken to the police station and I wasn't fingerprinted. This is my 1st ever offense.
Will I go to jail for this? Will I lose custody of my child?
Will I have a criminal record?
I have a permanent resident card that needs renewing beginning of next year. Will I be denied and deported?
Will still be able to buy a house?
I have never done anything bad in my life. What I did was a really bad judgment call which I deeply regret. I am beating myself up over this and i am scared of not knowing of what may happen.
A: Breath. Understandably, you've never been in criminal trouble before and are imagining the worse possible scenarios. You will likely not see any jail time, and so long as you are otherwise financially qualified, will remain free to buy a house. And if something like a single misdemeanor retail fraud conviction were enough to take kids away, there would be an awful lot of parentless children.
You absolutely should talk with an immigration attorney, perhaps before or at least in conjunction with a criminal attorney. Even though in the grand scheme of things, this hardly registers as a crime, it can have immigration consequences, and the advice of a good immigration attorney is well worth the expense to preserve your status.
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