If my sister and I stole make up valued at less than $30, what will happen to us regarding our records after we pay the ticket fine?

My sister and I got caught shoplifting. They wrote us up and said a ticket will be coming for us in the maill. I am 20 years old and she is 16. I understand we will have to pay a fine but what will happen after? What is going to be on our records? Especially mine because I am over the minor age. What can we do to get it off? I am trying to medical school so this is very important that I can get anything off. It’s our first time and I just have no idea what is going to happen.

Asked on May 29, 2012 under Criminal Law, California


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In most jurisdictions, shoplifting is a criminal offense and not a civil ordinance violation in which a payment of the fine ends the case. If shoplifting in your jurisdiction/state is a criminal offense, then any admission of guilt or responsibility to the offense can result in you having a criminal record, even if the only penalty is a payment of a fine. If it is just a civil ordinance violation and not a criminal offense, then there are no criminal penalties attached, and once the fine is paid the case is closed. My advice is to contact a criminal defense attorney in your area who can specifically inform you of the criminal implications you face, and if so, what steps needs to be taken to avoid a criminal conviction and this matter appearing on your criminal record.

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