Can I get shoplifting charges dropped and off my permanent record?

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Can I get shoplifting charges dropped and off my permanent record?

Can I get shoplifting charges dropped and off my permanent record? I was
charged with concealing merchandise or shoplifting of around 200-250. This
is my first offense, I have a clean record.. other than this charge. No warrants, no
tickets, nothing. I was wondering if I can get this off my record so that this
offense wouldn’t hinder me of getting a job or effect my future. I am 21 years
old, still in college, live in New Jersey, and I made a stupid mistake. Please help.

Asked on February 1, 2017 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

In a case in which a defendant has no prior criminal record, the courts allow for a special probation called "diversion", "deferred adjudication", etc. This is an alternative sentencing tool that allows an individual clear their criminal record upon successful completion. IThe way it works is: the defendant goes to court and pleads guilty to the offense. The judge then issues a probation (typically community service, payment of the fine and/or restitution). When the sentence is fully completed, the plea is withdrawn and the case is dismissed. Basically, the case is "diverted" out of the criminal justice system, so you will be left with a clean criminal history record. At this point you may want to consult directly with a criminal law attorney. Since diversion is only available to first-time offenders, if they can get the charge dropped on a technicality, etc, then it will still be available to you in the future should you ever need it.


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