Last Updated: May 4th, 2022 at 4:16 pm
Read Time: 5 Minutes
You must know how to get a shoplifting charge expunged if law enforcement arrests you. You may think that a shoplifting charge is not a big deal, especially if it was a small item that you were charged for taking. Still, the mark on your permanent record can have serious ramifications.
Criminal charges are public record, and potential employers can see these charges. Employers are often hesitant to hire individuals who have theft crimes on their records. Don’t take the chance of these charges negatively impacting your future. Learn how to get shoplifting off your record today.
At Weinstein Legal, a criminal defense attorney for shoplifting will guide you through the process of having these charges expunged. Once a judge expunges a crime from your record, it will no longer be visible to anyone who runs a background check on you. You will not have to worry about embarrassing questions regarding your past or having to explain yourself to potential employers or landlords.
Shoplifting Arrests vs. Shoplifting Convictions
Shoplifting arrests and shoplifting convictions are not the same things. A police officer may arrest you for a crime, but a judge or jury must affirm your guilt and convict you. However, other individuals may still see your criminal arrest record even without a conviction. It may note that a judge did not find you guilty, but it can still tarnish your reputation.
The good news is that in the state of Florida, you can have a shoplifting arrest expunged from your record if a judge dismissed your case, and you meet specific criteria. A lawyer can help you through the process of how to get a shoplifting charge expunged. However, there are stipulations.
- A judge or prosecutor dismissed the charge before trial
- You do not have any other criminal records sealed or expunged
- Your crime was non-violent
- You have never been convicted of any crime in your lifetime
Juvenile Shoplifting Arrests
Please do not assume that because your shoplifting arrest took place when you were under the age of 18 that it will disappear from your record once you are an adult. In Florida, this is not the case. If law enforcement arrests you as a minor, you still need to know how to get shoplifting off your record.
If you receive shoplifting charges as a minor, a judge will usually order you to complete a diversion or probation program. Once you complete this program, you must wait six months, during which time you must not receive any other criminal charges. At the end of the six month waiting period, you may file for an expungement and a sealing of your records. What this means is that no one will be able to see your shoplifting arrest.
Contacting a lawyer is the best way to go about having a record expunged. There is a lot of tedious paperwork involved, and the courts often put up red tape that can delay the process. An experienced lawyer will know how to speed the process along and ensure that the arrest comes off your record as soon as possible. Talk to an attorney as quickly as possible to learn how to get a shoplifting charge expunged.
Additionally, in the state of Florida, if you have a shoplifting arrest on your record as a minor, the state will automatically erase it from your criminal history when you are 24 or 26 years old. But do not wait this long. It’s easy to think that it’s not a big deal, but most people want to enter the workforce as soon as possible. Waiting until you are in your mid-twenties can prevent you from gaining employment and can affect what colleges you get in to. As a minor, you cannot hire an attorney yourself, so you must seek your parent’s help.
How Long Does a Shoplifting Charge Stay On Your Record?
If you are a minor, a shoplifting charge may stay on your record for quite some time if you do not go through the expunction process. If you are an adult, the criminal arrest will appear on your record permanently without hiring an attorney to help guide you through the process of how to get shoplifting off your record.
What this means is that if you are over the age of 18 when you receive charges, the record will follow you around forever. Ten years down the road, someone may still see the arrest. Don’t let this happen to you. File for an expunction as soon as possible with the help of a Broward criminal lawyer to ensure that your future is not negatively impacted.
Felony Shoplifting Charges
Most shoplifting charges are misdemeanors, but law enforcement may press felony charges on you under certain circumstances. The courts may consider your shoplifting charge to be a felony if the value of items you are accused of stealing exceed $3,000. Additionally, if you have repeated shoplifting charges on your record, your latest arrest may be a felony regardless of the merchandise value.
As soon as you receive felony shoplifting charges, hire an attorney. You do not want a felony conviction on your record. Felony matters are particularly severe as many jobs do not hire felons, and many landlords do not lease to felons. The charge will follow you around for the rest of your life. Don’t take your chance in court alone.
Hiring an Attorney
If you are looking at how to get shoplifting off your record, hire an expungement attorney in Florida right away. Contact Weinstein Legal for a free case evaluation with no obligation. We have an aggressive criminal defense team who will fight for your rights in court, working to prove your innocence and keep criminal charges off your record.
Protect your freedom and your future. Please do not assume a shoplifting charge will disappear on its own. You need the best legal representation possible. Call Weinstein Legal today at 954-845-0505.