Hello, I was caught shoplifting almost a year ago at the age of 16. I am completing the diversion program and am told that charges won't be pressed if completed. Does this mean i don't have a record? Or i do have a record and its going to be sealed or expunged after completion of the program? I haven't been convicted of anything so I'm guessing there is no record to expunge/seal. I'm hoping this means if i were to ever apply for a job as a teacher,attorney or police officer they will have nothing in the database? I've read that these occupation do have a right to see your expunged record but I'm not sure if i have one. I'm guessing only the youth program will have me on there database. Of course I'm not positive. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated on what you believe to be the case.
Criminal Defense Attorney
Yes, you have a juvenile record by virtue that you were charged with a crime. The diversion program results in the charges being dropped, but that doesn't eliminate it from your record. There is still the arrest/charges to expunge. Juvenile records are already sealed, but you should probably petition for an expunction once the charges are dropped. An expunction will literally remove it from your record by destroying all files associated with your case, so it is important to pursue that when the charges are dropped. It is true some places want to know if you've had any cases, even if they were sealed or expunged, but if it was just the one case and it was dropped and expunged then usually they are very forgiving, especially if it was a juvenile offense.
This is not to be considered legal advice nor does an attorney-client relationship exist.
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