My question involves criminal law for the state of: Michigan
I am a 30 year old woman living in South Asia and I think I may have a legal problem which may bar me from visiting the USA.
In 1996 I was charged with shoplifting in Ann Arbor, Michigan from Meijer. I had just turned 18 years old and I took a few things worth less than 100 dollars. I was fingerprinted, but was told not to worry as my crime would not be kept on record, if I met all the requirements.
I went to the court and the judge said, as it was my first crime, I would need to do community service and pay 100 dollars. However, the problem was that my family and I moved back to my home country, and ultimately I was unable to carry out the community service and also did not pay the 100 dollars.
Since 1996, I have moved back to my home country (in South Asia), graduated from university and have been working for 5 years, and have been far from any illegal activities.
I am repentant of the crime, but I do not know what to do, and I would like to sort out this whole mess I created 12 years ago. I feel very guilty having this criminal conviction over my head, I want to be clear of all this, apply to the US for a tourist visa, and just visit my old friends and relatives.
Do you think this is something which can be resolved, and I could come and visit America or ever even work in America? I feel terrible for having waited so long, but I just didnt know what I needed to do. I do not have any information regarding the conviction, and am not sure who I would need to contact either.
I look forward to your advice and if you think that this can be resolved, I would like to contact you regarding how to proceed further.