Question: ”I am 19 years old, and was recently ticketed with a misdemeanor MIP (Minor in Possession) in a vehicle. I didn’t know that my 21 year old friend left a beer in my truck.”
Answer: You may not have had the can in your hand, but that need not be proven. Nonetheless, you may still have options and defenses available. Consult with local, experienced counsel who have handled these types of cases before, as they will be in the best position to explain their previous experiences with you and let you know what to expect, as well as what they may be able to do to assist you in preparing and presenting your defense.
Question: “For a first time offender, what is the best possible outcome I can get for a misdemeanor?”
Answer: Each case is different, and the defenses and arguments to be made vary from case to case, even when the charges are the same. With respect to whether you can keep your record clean, the answer is yes, possibly, in this type of case it is sometimes possible to complete informal diversion whereby you complete some tasks, return, and upon proof of completion, you obtain some benefit ranging from a reduced charge to, in some cases, a dismissal. A pardon would not be applicable in your case. However, should it be necessary, you could seek an expungement to clean your record. Consult with an attorney to represent you in this matter, and explain the possible outcomes with you further.
Question: “My husband has a prior misdemeanor from 2005 for domestic violence; has an INS hold; and was arrested on these charges: pc29805 and hs11377(A). What should I do?”
Answer: Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with the immigration consequences that he is facing, as an offer that could be seen as ideal for a citizen client can have very serious consequences for him. It’s likely that you will also have to contact an immigration attorney, as aside from the open case, your husband will likely have to address the previous conviction as well.
Question: “I received two misdemeanors for shoplifting in 1969 and 1977. The judge mentioned after probation, he would seal and expunge my records. I do not wish to reveal this information on a citizenship application, when asked about moral character. Please advise.”
Answer: It’s unlikely, though, not impossible that your convictions would have been expunged on a judge’s own motion. However, and you’ll want to confirm this with an immigration attorney, generally speaking, expungements do not result in the same benefits to a non citizen. There are a host of other possible remedies to non-citizens who are seeking to clear records. For further information, contact an immigration attorney to confirm whether, despite the convictions possibly being expunged in the past, they still must be disclosed.