Can I clear a theft conviction off of my criminal history background?

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Can I clear a theft conviction off of my criminal history background?

About 7 years ago, I was caught doing “coupon fraud” for a total amount of $60 at a store that I worked at. On my background check it now states “theft”. Is there anyway I can clear that off my record. I’m currently trying to get a job at a bank but this is setting me back. Anything I can do?

Asked on February 1, 2014 under Criminal Law, New York

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

In the common law legal system, an expungement proceeding is a type of lawsuit in which a first time offender of a prior criminal conviction seeks that the records of that earlier process be sealed, thereby making the records unavailable through the state or Federal repositories. If successful, the records are said to be "expunged". Black's Law Dictionary defines "expungement of record" as the "Process by which record of criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed from the state or Federal repository." While expungement deals with an underlying criminal record, it is a civil action in which the subject is the petitioner or plaintiff asking a court to declare that the records be expunged.

Richard Southard / Law Office of Richard Southard

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

New York does not expunge criminal convictions.  Whether or not the record should be sealed depends on the final outcome of the case.  Given the small ($60) amount involved, it may have been possible to reduce the charges to a violation or ACD, neither of which would have left you with a criminal record and both of which wuld have sealed within a year.  Unfortunately, since your case is 7 years old, its unlikely anything can be done to help you now.


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