Hello everyone, I was active on this board when I was getting ready to file for my Citizenship. My issue was that I had a Misdemeanor on my record - and that also a CIMT. So there was a lot of doubt in my mind as to if I will be deported let alone being approved... But after a lot of research and lot of doubts, I finally decided that it is now or never as my green card was expring in June 2009. So I filed in July/August 2008. I am in Los Angeles area and my service was in Laguna Niguel. I included the court certified docs of my arrest and disposition. I was conviceted and had 3 year informal probation, 1 day Jail (with credit for 1 day for Book and Release) and fine of about $900. My only hope was the petty theft exception. It says that a GC holder is eligible if - there is only 1 crime - the max possible sentence for the crime is less than 1 year jail - actual jail is less than 6 months. This fit my case perfectly. I had only 1 incident (in 2002) where i was charged with shoplifting (PC 484-488). The max Jail sentence for thi crime in California is 6 month. So I filed my application in July end 2008, I got the fingerprint in Sep 2008 end and I had my interview today (Jan 16 2009). I did not hire a lawyer... The officer at the interview was nice and friendly - reminded me of my grandma. She asked me a series of normal questions before we got to the crime part. At taht time she asked me about the dates and what happened. I said it was my mistake and stupid thing I did which I regret to this day. She asked if I had any other incidents... I said no. She looked through all the court docs and asked me if they were certified... I said yes because the stamp was only on the last page... Once she found that she made some notes on my original N400 application. Later she asked me the civics and english questions. After that she asked me to sign the last parts of the N400 (the part on last page thst says that to be signed in presence of Office only). After all was done she put the "APPROVED" stamp and gave a paper that said I was approved and will receive my oath letter in mail... Woohoo!! I was so releived... This was the biggest chance I took in my life because to this day I had not told anyone in my family... It is a big burden but I can rest easy now. I should get the oath letter in next month or two and become a US Citizen soon.... My advise, stay clear of any violations... but if you already have committed a crime, - Do not file while you are on probation as that is definite decline. - It seems from my case that you dont need to wait 5 yrs after the end of probation to file (mine is under 4 yrs) - It eventually comesdown to the officer who you are interviewing with - Before you file, make sure you qualify for the Petty Theft Exception (I will post the link if I can find it again - check other threads) -- you dont want to be placed in deportation proceedings... - If you can afford it, may be consult a lawyer first Good Luck. Here is the link: http://www.uscis.gov/propub/ProPubVA...34390068d58f66 (2) Conditional Bars to Establishing Good Moral Character . (A) Effect of Crime Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT) Convictions . An applicant who commits and is convicted of or admits to committing one or more crimes involving moral turpitude during the statutory period cannot establish good moral character and is ineligible for naturalization. See 8 CFR 316.10(b)(2)(i) . However, there is an exception to the general rule, which you must consider. See section 212(a)(2)(A)(ii)(II) of the Act. The exception applies if the applicant has committed only one CIMT and the crime is a petty offense. A petty offense is defined as a crime for which the maximum penalty possible for the crime does not exceed imprisonment for one year and , if there is a conviction, the term of imprisonment does not exceed six months, regardless of suspension. Thus, an individual convicted of a CIMT will only qualify for the exception if the two conditions are satisfied. Not only must the sentence imposed have been less than six months, the maximum possible sentence that could have been imposed must not exceed one year. For example, suppose an applicant commits petty theft in the statutory period. This was his or her only conviction. The applicant was fined and sentenced to one year of probation and community service. The maximum possible sentence for this conviction is 364 days. No term of imprisonment was imposed. The applicant meets both conditions of the petty offense exception and is not precluded from establishing GMC. In the above example, if the applicant had also received a suspended jail sentence of eight months, he or she would not meet the exception because he or she does not meet the second condition of the petty offense exception. The petty offense exception is inapplicable to an alien who has been convicted of or who admits the commission of more than one crime involving moral turpitude, even if only one of the two or more CIMTs was committed during the statutory period. An applicant who has committed more than one petty offense, only one of which is a CIMT, remains eligible for consideration of the petty offe nse exception. See Legal Opinion 95-12 .