Q: Reduce Misdemeanor for petit theft ($55) to infraction in Florida as a first-time offender?
I am on a visa and therefore would like an "immigration-safe" outcome of the case. Is it possible to reduce my misdemeanor charge for petit theft of $55 to an infraction in Florida? If not, do you recommend anything else to not be convicted under USCIS law? I am a first-time offender.
A: Consult with a competent and experienced immigration attorney and be prepared to provide copies of your criminal case documents for analysis. If the charge is the petit theft statute (and not the retail theft statute), there is actually good case law as it relates to such an offense NOT being a crime involving moral turpitude, which otherwise could pose immigration problems Many attorneys offer online vide consultations. Consider scheduling an appointment to discuss.
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A: Florida law doesn't have "infractions" in criminal cases, so you'll want to have the case dismissed completely. There's a possibility for a diversion program for first offenders which could get you there. You need to be careful, though, as some diversion programs require a written admission of guilt. Contact some attorneys. Most offer free consultations.
In Florida, it may be possible to reduce a misdemeanor charge for petit theft to an infraction, depending on the specific circumstances of the case and the prosecutor's discretion. However, this may not necessarily have an impact on your immigration status, as USCIS may still consider a conviction for an infraction as a conviction for immigration purposes.
It is important to note that the best course of action may depend on the specific details of your case, including any mitigating factors, your immigration status, and the prosecutor's discretion. Consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with Florida law and immigration consequences can help you determine the best strategy to protect your rights and minimize any negative impact on your immigration status.
If you need legal assistance, contact my office. We offer a free consultation option for potential clients.
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