How do I clear my record if I just got charged with a misdemeanor for shoplifting under $20 worth of merchandise?

UPDATED: Oct 3, 2014

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How do I clear my record if I just got charged with a misdemeanor for shoplifting under $20 worth of merchandise?

I want to get the charge expunged from my record. I know that there is a program that I can do that will do that but what is it called? I know there is a theft class, community service and possibly probation involved.

Asked on October 3, 2014 under Criminal Law, Florida


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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

In such a situation as this, assuming that you have no prior criminal record, the court will allow for "diversion". This is an alternative sentencing remedy that allows a person to clear their criminal record upon its successful completion. The way that it works is as follows: the defendant goes to court and enters a guilty plea. The judge then issues probation typically consisting of community service, payment of the fine and/or resitution, etc. If the sentence is fully completed, the plea is withdrawn and the case is dismissed. Your will be left with a clean criminal history record.

At this point you may want to consult with a criminal law attorney. Diversion is only available to first-time offenders. If they can get the charge dropped on a technicality or the like, then diversion would be available to your son in the future should he ever need it (hopefully not).

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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