OPT Application with upcoming court date


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I am currently on a F-1 Visa since August 2016 and I will graduate at the end of April with a Masters Degree. After my graduation I would like to stay in the US for another year by applying to the OPT. Unfortunately, I have a court appearance at the beginning of February with current charges of Receiving Stolen Property with a value of less than $500. I have been arrested when I was intoxicated and they kept me over night because of public intoxication as they told me. The whole thing was just very stupid and I would have behaved differently if I would have not been that intoxicated. 

I am concerned that this will have an impact on my chances to get accepted for my OPT application. Since this case was very stupid and little, my chances to get this charge reduced to an infraction under "disturbing the peace" are pretty good as I've been told. However, I am very concerned and I'd like to find out more if this has a severe impact on my OPT application as either a misdemeanor or infraction.
Could they reject my application because of this? Should I plead guilty of the misdemeanor (moral turpitude on my record?) or fight it and try to get it reduced to an infraction? And also, when should I hand in my OPT application, rather before the court date at the end of January or the latest point possible after I know my ultimate charge, would that make a difference?

I'd appreciate any experiences, recommendations or ideas. Thanks!

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  • 9 months later...

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