About seven years ago I got caught shoplifting a $20 item. The department store called the police and I was Arrested right away, and taken to jail. I had a court date and appeared before the judge with my attorney. It was dismissed and I had to do community service. My question is will this stay on my record forever? How do I know if it is sealed? Is there a public way to see what is on my record? I am very concerned because it was an honest mistake that I took complete blame for and paid for, but I want to be able to have a clear record so I can work in the future.
It should not be on your record as it was probably dismissed and sealed. The only way to truly find out if it shows up on your record is by requesting a fingerprint check at your local precinct.
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If your case was dismissed, the record is sealed, and even if unsealed would show no conviction anyway. Contact your attorney from that case and confirm the disposition if you are concerned.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
If it was dismissed it should be sealed. Go to the court and see if there is a public record for the case. If they say NO it is sealed.
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If it was an "honest mistake' then you should have gone to trial. If you took a Disorderly Conduct plea or got an ACD dismissal it is sealed and you will not have a record. Do not make poor decisions in the future and do not suffer any delusions about your guilt or you will not learn to make better decisions. People often say "it was a mistake" or they were "at the wrong place at the wrong time". They say that they were the "victim of circumstances" because they are embarrassed, in denial, and basically not very honest in general. They say what they want other people to hear, not the truth and that is being a con artist. It is not being able to take responsibility for their actions. Crimes are not mistakes, that are intentional or negligent actions. Mistakes and accidents are not crimes.
A case that's dismissed should not be on your record, that's what happens when something gets dismissed. Sounds to me like you got an Adjournment in Contemplation of Dismissal (ACD) where the case was dismissed after you did community service. If that's the case it should be dismissed and sealed completely. There's probably no need to worry about it.
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