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I was caught shoplifting from Wal-Mart, I received only a citation and never went to court will it show on a background check?

Stone Mountain, GA |

They sent me a letter stating to pay the fine to the county but, im wondering with me missing court and not being arrested have I technically been "convicted" of the crime?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. There is probably a warrant out for your arrest. Stop making foolish decisions and get this resolved. I hope whatever you tried to steal was worth this.


  2. If you missed a court date, there may very likely be a warrant for your arrest. You cannot simply ignore a criminal summons, which is what a citation is. If you go to court and resolve the case, you may be able to keep this offense of of your record. I would recommend you hire an attorney to help you especially since you missed court.


  3. The warrant will show and the citation will show. Although you were not physically jailed, the issuance of a citation is the equivalent to an arrest. They do track these things. You had best get things cleared up because nothing is worse than getting arrested after a traffic stop in some other county and having to go to their jail and wait until the county issuing the warrant comes to pick you up and lodges you in their jail. Then you get to see a judge. If it happens on a Friday evening, and trust me it always happens on the weekend, you are going to spend a lot more time in jail. Worse yet, you probably never would have gotten jail time to begin with had you gone to court. Get a lawyer and work this out.

    The information given is not intended to be legal advice and is based upon limited facts. No attorney client relationship is created and you should not treat the comments given as legal advice.


  4. At this point there is likely to be a bench warrant for your arrest for failure to appear in court. If you want to keep this off your record, you need to retain an attorney to work this case out for you. You may still qualify for a diversion program that will, upon completion, result in a dismissal of the charges against you. That would mean that this case never appears on your criminal history. Moreover, if the lawyer can get the bench warrant recalled, your history would not show an arrest for it either. Otherwise, you will eventually be arrested on the bench warrant and sit in jail until you resolve this case.

    Allen R. Knox
    125 Townpark Drive, Suite 300
    Kennesaw, GA 30144
    (678) 334-1399

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