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When applying from jobs in NJ applications ask if convicted of a felony, is my shoplifting charge considered one?

Ocean, NJ |

I was 18, now 28 and it's my only charge ever. We were caught in the store with the stuff in her purse. The amount of stuff was $25. They called the cops I was arrested,fingerprinted, and given a court date. I wound up doing community service and paying a fine.

Attorney Answers 7


  1. If the value was only $25, and the case was handled in a municipal court, then you were not convicted of a felony. You really should obtain a disposition from the court where you were convicted to know the exact details, which would allow a definitive answer. If the conviction was nearly 10 years ago, and you have never been arrested for anything else, you are eligible for an expungement. An expungement would clear your criminal records completely and it would be as if you were never even arrested. Background checks would be clear and you can answer "no" to any question asking if you were ever arrested.


  2. Shoplifting where the value of the merchandise is this low is a disorderly person (misdemeanor) offense. So, you have not been convicted of a felony I agree, after all this time you should consider an expungement if this was your only offense.

    Law Office of Keith S. Massey Jr. LLC, Lakewood, New Jersey. (732) 905-0353. http://www.masseydefense.com Answers provided for informational purposes only. None of the information contained herein is intended to create, nor creates, an attorney-client relationship, is not legal advice, and should not be used without first consulting an attorney.


  3. At $25 dollars this was not a felony (in NJ it is called a crime). This was a disorderly persons offense and is not a crime or a felony. Yo can answer "no". You may want to expunge this record. You were eligible 5 years after your ciommunity service ended. When the order is granted all record of your arrest and conviction with be taken down off all offical computers and data bases in the State. All Court papers, police reports and fingerprints (in NJ) will be locked away and anyone asked must say "no such records exist" (unless for law enforcement or court reaasons). You may say you were never arrested or convicted. An atorney can co this more easily and make sure no data bases are missed. I would consider the expungement.


  4. I agree with the other attorneys. It was a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) and you were eligible to have the record expunged five years after you completed probation for it. If your job applications ask if you have ever been convicted of anything (not just a felony), then you would have to answer yes. If the offense is expunged, however, you would legally be able to answer "no" (with a few limited exceptions such as employment with law enforcement or the judiciary) to that question. Thus, you should get the record expunged.

    It should be understood that even though I am answering your question, no attorney-client relationship exists between us. It should be further understood that while I am doing my best to answer your question based upon the information you provided, I do not have the complete facts and my answer might well be different, if I had more complete information. For these reasons, it is always best to consult either in person or by telephone with a lawyer and discuss your issues in detail.


  5. A felony is generally used in New York. It is roughly equivalent to an "indictable offense" in New Jersey. Did you ever appear in a County Courthouse (Superior Court)? If not, it would seem to be a municipal court offense of some sort. It sounds like a disorderly persons offense or perhaps even a borough ordinance result. The only way to be sure is to check the court record or have your own criminal history done. You might consider calling the court administrator for the courthouse in which you were charged. If you establish who you are, they may tell you what it was or pull it for you to go look in the courthouse.


  6. Due to the value of the merchandise taken, your conviction is not a felony (or rather, what we call in NJ an indictable offense) but rather a disorderly persons offense (roughly equivalent to a misdemeanor). Since it was more than 5 years ago, you are eligible to have your record expunged, which would allow you to always answer "no" on any form that asks you whether you have ever been convicted of an offense, or the lesser asked question of whether you have ever been arrested. If you are interested in an expungement my office would be pleased to help you.


  7. You can answer NO since this was not a felony.

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