It may seem like a minor matter, but getting caught and convicted for shoplifting can have serious long term consequences for the offender. That conviction will stay on a permanent record, and it is very difficult to have it removed. Fortunately, getting the record expunged is a good way to prevent that conviction from giving you problems with finding employment or renting a home, among other things.
Conviction or Arrest
To start, you should know the difference between a conviction and a charge. A charge might not even show up on your permanent record. However, if it does, there are severe consequences. You might have trouble applying for credit, or getting a loan. If it appears on a criminal background check, then it may affect your employment and education opportunities. Even if you have not been convicted, you will have to have a judge decide on whether the charge can be expunged.
Age of the Offender
The age of the shoplifter at the time of the crime can also be a factor on whether a charge or conviction can be expunged. In some states, misdemeanors committed by those under the age of 18 or 21 are treated differently. It does not necessarily mean that the record will be expunged, but there is a higher likelihood.
Felony Shoplifting Charges
If you are convicted of a felony shoplifting charge, then it will be much more difficult to get it expunged. That said, some states do allow for shoplifting charges to be “set aside” so that they will not show up on a permanent record. To remove the charge completely, a petition must be made with the court. At that point, the state’s attorney can allow the motion to pass or object to it. In most states the period of time for this process to play itself out is three months. At that point, it is left up to a judge to decide. If you have nothing else on your record you are much more likely to be successful.
There is no reason to let a past charge or conviction prevent you from living your fullest life. Contact an attorney today to see if they can help you get your past shoplifting record expunged so you can get on with your life.
If you’re need of an expungement, the Law Office of Mark Herman can help. Reach out online or call 612-382-4545 for a free consultation.