These are questions that you should discuss in detail with your lawyer. If you were fingerprinted and photographed when you were arrested, most background checks will show the arrest. However, if you complete PTI you will be able to expunge the record of your arrest six months after completing the PTI (usually 1 year). The sooner you hire a lawyer the bette because shoplifting charges are often downgraded to municipal court. In municipal court there is no PTI program and you will most likely have to plead guilty to something or go to trial. It is important for your lawyer to get in touch with the prosecutor as soon as possible.
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I strongly suggest that you contact a lawyer directly, whether myself or one of my colleagues. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during a face to face attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private consultation with an attorney. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, and attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on Avvo.com are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual.
Until this matter is completely resolved your arrest record will show up. If you go to trial and win, or the charge gets dismissed, then you can file to have your arrest record expunged at that time. If you get PTI, you can file for an expungement of your arrest record six months after you successfully complete your PTI. If you are convicted or plead guilty to the charge as you described, you will have to wait ten years to file for an expungement of your record. Please contact my office to discuss your case in more detail and to see hwo I may be able to assist you. Thank you.
Sincerely yours, -Ronald Aronds, Esq.-