|Lawyers.com > Discuss Your Legal Issue > Ask a Lawyer > Criminal Law > I got a shoplifting misdameanor and am facing a court date soon, will I need a lawyer? I faced no jail time. Can I get this expunged? How so?|
Generally, for a first time petty theft or shoplifting charge, you will pay a fine and most likely receive 3 years informal probation. After probation has successfully been completed, you can file documents to expunge your record. Once that is done, you can lawfully state you have not been convicted of a crime. However, even if expunged, if you get another theft charge, the first one (even though expunged) will still count as a first time conviction which would make the next one a second conviction with more severe penalties. You can ask the Judge to give you an indicated sentence, which means he/she will tell you what he will do if you plead guilty at your first court appearance.
This response is general in nature and should not be considered legal advice.