Asked in Criminal Law and Immigration Law for South Carolina

Q: Will I have trouble in the airport?

Me and my friend made a terrible mistake trying to steal from Walmart. They called the police and the police wanted to schedule the court for May 19. We had flight tickets (we are international students) to go home in the next week so they somehow could hold the “court” right there at the police station on the same day. We needed to pay 50$ each for if I understood correctly court fees. It all happened very quickly and they told us we got a good deal. We didn’t need to pay the fine,or do the community service. And we both got banned from Walmart. It all happened so quickly that we didn’t have time to process it.They said that we can get rid of that record in 3 years.They also said we got lucky because it’s our first fraud. Do we have a criminal record now?Was it a civil or crime lawsuit?Will I have problems in the airport to renter the country?The police officer told me there won’t be any troubles with immigration and the records are only kept in the police station but I’m still scared

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2 Lawyer Answers
Samuil Buschkin
Samuil Buschkin
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Union, NJ

A: I suggest you get a South Carolinian criminal defense attorney or a local immigration lawyer who also practices criminal law in order to get this taken care of properly. Often, if not handled, right certain criminal charges will much later present a problem in the immigration context.

1 user found this answer helpful

Stephen Grooms
Stephen Grooms
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • Licensed in South Carolina

A: It sounds like you may have been issued a citation for shoplifting or petty larceny and plead guilty or no contest. If this is the case then that is a criminal misdemeanor charge, but it can also be classified as a crime of dishonesty. Both could impact your immigration status.

If you were convicted of this criminal misdemeanor it would be eligible for expungement in three years if other conditions are met, such as no other criminal convictions for the 3 years after this conviction.

All of this is of course if my assumptions are correct, without further information I cannot verify what actually occurred.

If you choose to file an appeal the clock is ticking from the date of conviction, I would suggest you contact a criminal defense or immigration attorney in the Myrtle Beach, SC area as soon as possible to preserve any rights you may have.

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