In 2009 , I was arrested for shoplifting , went to court , pled no contest to a charge of Petty Theft, received 3 years of informal probation, no jail time and a fine of $300 plus penalty assessments which totals $1330.00. This is inclusive of all court fees. I was on conditional status residency at that time and , I left the country (at my own will - I was not deported -, the uscis did not contact me at all) before I get my permanent residency which was to be issued a couple weeks later ,without filing for removal of conditional status , because at the time , I wished no longer to stay. I paid my fine to the court. Now I want to travel to the states back and issue a tourist visa, but I my criminal defense lawyer told me that I would face a probable denial , and that I should hire an immigration attorney. But I wouldn't want to spend a huge amount of money in an attorney, if there's no way to get my visa to travel. My probation ends in Nov 2012. What do you advise me to do ?