Do I have a record? I want to study Criminology . No arrest or court just diversion program.

Asked 10 months ago - Hollywood, FL

I was accused of stealing a $5 ring from Clairs. I was never arrested. They took me into the security office and I signed some papers. My parents were called and a few weeks later I received a letter to do the diversion program. I never stood before a judge or received a court date. Does this matter? No mug shot or anything like that. My parents paid 250 in the civil case again never appeared before a judge that letter came from a lawyers office. I completed the diversion program and my parents did paper work to expunge my record. I received a letter stating that me file had been expunged. Can someone please explain all of this to me? I do not want to study for 4 years to find out I can not be employed as a CSI.

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Eric J Trabin

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Even though you were not arrested you still were charged with a crime. Being provided with a notice to appear or a promise to appear counts as an arrest, even if you weren't booked into a jail. Diversion results in the charges being dropped, but it doesn't mean you weren't charged and it doesn't make it disappear. If the case is expunged then it is basically like it never existed and you can legally deny the incident. Of course, if you applying for a position with law enforcement then they may still learn about incident.

    This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.
  2. Seda Aktas


    Contributor Level 13


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Look at the hiring protocols for agencies you may want to work for/with. You can even call them to ask whether your history can disqualify you.

    The attorney's responses to questions are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client... more
  3. Daniel David Archer


    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . If you met your obligation under the Diversion program, and your record has been expunged, there should be little to no impact on you in the future. Yes, there is always some remote chance that someone will dig up information (directly or indirectly) pertaining to your incident. If it comes up in a job interview, then tell them the truth. Honest is always the best policy and honest will likely bode more in your favor than not admitting the incident would. I have had plenty of clients that have had their records expunged after making a mistake. They have entered the police academy, the military and private industry without any problem. Think of it this expungement is intended to give a person a second chance and do so by placing them in the same position they would have been in had they not had a brain-fart in the first place. Because the charge, after being expunged, in theory no longer exists, you would not be misleading anyone in saying your record is clean.

  4. Christopher A. Blaisdell

    Contributor Level 6

    Answered . Every employer has their own answer to this question, including different state and federal agencies. In a municipal department, a sheriff's office for example, that kind of policy can change depending on who holds the office of sheriff at the time you apply and what they think of you overall. It's a judgement call, in other words, made on case by case basis. It sounds like you've done everything you possibly can to make up for what you did. If your heart is truly set on being a crime scene tech, you should probably go for it, and just know that your resume is going to need to be that much more impressive because of this indiscretion. If you work hard and are passionate enough I strongly suspect you'll find an employer willing to overlook this. Good luck.

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