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Will a class b misdemeanor for theft show in a background check before going to court?

Edinburg, TX |

I got arrested like a month ago for shoplifting at Sears. It was my first time and the stupidest mistake ever. I want to get a job now but I want to know if this will already appear when they run a background check on me since I haven't yet gone to court. Some people say no and others tell me it will. I really don't wish to spend my time filling applications out when most employers will turn me down as soon as they run a background check on me. Please help!!!

P.S. I'm thinking of applying in retail or in a small insurance company. I have banking experience but I really don't think this will not show on their type of background check.

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Attorney answers 3


Yes. As soon as you are arrested, you have a record. The case will remain on your record forever, even if it is dismissed, until you have it expunged or sealed. Which one of these, if either, is an option will depend on the disposition of your case. You need to hire an experienced defense attorney to get you back to a clean record.

Macy Jaggers's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Ms. Jaggers offers everyone a free consultation to discuss their case. Feel free to call her office at 214-365-9800 to make an appointment (phones are answered 24 hours) or visit her website at for more information about her services and recent victories.


It will show up on your record as an arrest. Depending on the level of theft you are being charged with (class b,c, etc...) the outcome of the case will determine what options you have for hiding this charge from potential employers. Take this very seriously. While the immediate punishment may not seem like a big deal, if you handle it incorrectly you may be stuck with this on your record for good, and that would be a huge black mark against you in your job search. Speak to some local attorneys to get some advice on what to do. Good luck.

Mr. Smith's answer to a legal question on Avvo does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Shawn H. Smith offers a free initial consultation to discuss your case. Feel free to call his office at 512-576-3380 or visit his website at for more information about his services.



In a job application can I still answer "no" where it asks if the applicant has ever been convicted since I haven't gone to court yet? Also, would you happen to know what type of details of an arrest will appear in a background check? For example, will details of where and when the arrest took place and the details of the theft show?

Shawn H. Smith

Shawn H. Smith


I would say yes, if it asks you about a conviction you can say you don't have one. It is my understanding that most background checks will just show the date and the charge, not much more detail than that.


You need an attorney to help you keep this charge off your record. Even if the case is dismissed, the arrest record will exist unless it is expunged. The sooner you contact an attorney, the better.

The information provided does not constitute legal advice and is presented without any representation or warranty whatsoever, including as to the accuracy or completeness of the information. Always contact an attorney when seeking legal advice.

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