If I was convicted of misdemeanor petty larceny 4 years ago, what can I do now if I can’t get a job because of it?

At the time I had just turned 18, I was still living at home (didn’t dare to tell my parents because I’ve always been a good daughter and student.) The bad influence (my boyfriend at the time) pressured me into buying something he needed at the grocery store that he nor I could afford. The item was less than $10. I thought that I could handle going into court alone but I had no idea what I was doing. I remember wanting to be represented but looking back on paperwork, I signed to not work with an attorney. My life since then has been pretty troublesome regarding my obtaining a good job (I’ve gotten turned down a lot). Most people in my situation who would’ve had an attorney.

Asked on July 23, 2015 under Criminal Law, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

There is something known as an "expungement". This is a legal remedy whereby someone can make a petition to the court to have their criminal history record cleared. It will be as though the conviction never occurred. However, not all states allow for this. What you should do now is to finally consult with an attorney. They can best advise as to specific state law (it would be the state in which the conviction occured, not necessarily the one in which you live). In the meantime, you can google the name of the applicable state and the word "expungent". Yuo should then be able to find most of the information you need. However, having legal counsel can be of enormous help.

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