2 Ohio Misdemeanors within same month & Request guidance on H1b Stamping/ Extension


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I am here to request help & guidance from you experts in order to find survival scope after most shameful 1 month of my life. I know that I have overcome that ‘phase’ but now have to deal with consequences.

During first week of a certain month, 2016 I was charged with shoplifting at a retail store (amount $280). After taking all the items back & giving a civil demand notice (for $1025) they handed me over me to Police. After being fingerprinted I was booked with THEFT W/O CONSENT ORC/CO 2913.02A1 M1. Because of no prior experience with criminal proceedings I had to take help from defense attorney. He filed “NOT GUILTY” on behalf of me & during first hearing date court ordered “DISMISSED –DEF COST”. I went for a consultation with a local immigration attorney and he suggested continuing my upcoming India visit & H1b stamping plan because of certain criteria. I decided not to pay that civil demand as I cannot afford.

But just next day I was charged again for shoplifting for an amount of only $85 at a superstore. I was booked with same criminal case at same police station under same court. I could not go for my H1b stamping & India visit rather approached that same defense attorney. He filed “NOT GUILTY” on behalf of me and during first hearing prosecutor sent the case for 1st offender diversion pgm. After completion of community service court ordered “DISMISSED –DEF COST”.

Both of these cases will be filed for expungement now. Now want to get idea about how much I ruined my guest status in USA:

1.       Can I visit India now & go for stamping? Have I become Inadmissible?

2.       If answer to #1 is not in my favor, then is the safest option for me now to stay within USA until expiry of current H1b & then no other choice but to go back?

3.       If answer to #1 is in my favor, then what all certified copies I should collect from court before travelling? My cases will be set for expungement. Those copies may require in future as well.

4.       I know that this needs to be mentioned in my DS160, but will this need to be mentioned during next H1b extension/ H1b transfer (to new employer)/ any status change events? My current employer does not know about this & I certainly do not want them to let as well. Generally immigration attorney hired by employer only will file the status change application. Or shall I wait until RFE before informing employer (or its attorney) regarding this.

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