What to do if I was charged with petty larceny for shoplifting but am a student on an F-1 visa and can’t afford a lawyer?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What to do if I was charged with petty larceny for shoplifting but am a student on an F-1 visa and can’t afford a lawyer?

My court date is in 4 months. Is Legal Aid Society a good idea or should I work at gathering money from everywhere? Can I have my court date moved up about 2 months? If so, how? What is a better solution for me considering I am an international student and will need to go through immigration desks at airports every 6 months or so: ACD or Disorderly Conduct? Is there a possibility that I can negotiate with the store for charges to be dropped? It is a big chain departmental store. When can I ideally travel out of the country so as to be a

Asked on May 10, 2014 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You cannot negotiate with the store to drop charges and doing so may be tantamount to new crimes.  See Penal Law section 215.  If you are indigent, you will qualify for the judge to appoint you a public defender.  There are good public defenders and bad public defenders the same way that there are good and bad private attorneys.  However, with a court appointed lawyer, you do not get to choose who represents you and are stuck with whomever the judge appoints.  Given your immigration issues, you probably do not want to leave it to chance.  Petit Larceny is a class A misdemeanor punishable up to one year in jail, $1000 fine or three years probation.  It is also a crime of moral turpitude for purposes of immigration. A conviction of Petit Larceny or an attempt to commit this crime, will result in your having a permanent criminal record that cannot be erased or expunged.  While it may be possible for your attorney to negotiate a disorderly conduct or ACD, you should discusss with whichever attorney represents you, the implications of both and how it will affect future immigration issues and international travel prior to accepting any deal.  I cannot see which county the case is pending so I cannot comment on whether the date can be advanced or what the plea bargaining guidelines in that county are.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption