Do I need a Lawyer

Asked almost 3 years ago - San Jose, CA

I made a terrible mistake and a bad decision and was caught shoplifting a pack of meat ( value at $35). I went to court and the charges were reduced from a misdemeanor to an infraction. However my new employer just ran a background check on me and it showed up as a misdemeanor. Does it show up as a misdemeanor because that was what the orignal charge? Do i have any chances of it getting taken off or take a diversion program to get it off my record? This is the first time offense and i have not have anything prior to this. Would it help if i get a lawyer at this point?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Harry Edward Hudson Jr

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Mr. Martin's suggestion is a good one. BUT get a certified copy of the minute order. Also note on your calendar when one year from the time you entered a plea and arrange for an expungement.

    The above is not intended as legal advice. The response does not constitute the creation of an attorney client... more
  2. Daniel Kieth Martin

    Contributor Level 8

    Answered . This happens quite frequently. Most of the time the court file is correct however due to the fact that it was originally filed as a misdemeanor the case number makes the case look like a misdemeanor. Most courts use case numbers to designate the type of charge so a misdemeanor case has a number that starts with an M, felony cases have a number that starts with an F.

    The first thing to do is go to the court where you suffered the conviction and ask to see the minute order for the hearing that you changed your plea to guilty or no contest. Make sure the clerk recorded it as an infraction. If not then put yourself back on calendar and ask that it be corrected. You may need a lawyer to make sure this is done correctly.

    Good luck.

  3. David Jon Pullman

    Contributor Level 19

    Answered . What your employer probably saw was your record of arrest. Even though your charge was reduced to an infraction, you were arrested for a misdemeanor and that will show on your record. There isn't anything a lawyer can do about that.

  4. Rita Skuratovsky

    Contributor Level 4

    Answered . Infractions normally do not show up on record checks. You should probably contact the court to make sure there was no error made at the time of entry. More likely than not, it was entered into the system as a misdemeanor rather than an infraction. You have to ask them to remedy the error. If you have the papers showing it was reduced to an infraction take it to the court's clerk and ask them to change it. If not you can search the record database for it.
    Getting an expungement is another option to get rid of misdemeanor.

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