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Will a misdemeanor shoplifting charge follow me to other states?

Minneapolis, MN |

I was caught shoplifting $52 merchandise at Kohl's in MN. Police were called. I was issued a ticket and banned from all Kohls stores. The officer recorded my confession and then said I can either pay ticket within 21 days or go to court to plead not guilty. I told him I can't go to court because I am relocating to another state very soon. He told me if I pay the fine I am admitting to crime and it will go on my record. Will show up on background checks in other states when I move and am trying to find a job or place to live? I've also heard that I Kohl's often sends out civil demands. They have the merchandise back and it's not damaged so I don't know if they can do this.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Yes it may follow you.

    Yes they can issue a demand letter.

    Do not take YOUR legal advice from a law enforcement officer. He has NONE of your interests at heart.

    Consult with an attorney immediately.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.


  2. Hello. There are a multitude of entities that conduct background checks, so what may or may not show all depends on several factors. I would venture to say that generally it is vastly more likely than not that a conviction will indeed be found, but again, it just depends on different factors. I suggest that you ought to consider the matter to be quite serious in nature.

    Minnesota licensed attorney


  3. A theft conviction (shoplifting) will follow a person, or be available on criminal public record background checks, in every state. Many retailers keep and share their own records on shoplifters, as well. Minnesota has a statute authorizing retailers who claim to be victims of shoplifting theft crimes to claim a civil penalty against an alleged thief. I would suggest setting a goal of keeping your record clean (assuming no priors) as this is quite valuable, in terms of future employment and other opportunities in life. It will be worth going to court. Get a lawyer to help you - either a private or public defender.


  4. If you pay the fine, the conviction will follow you and could have a negative impact on you in the future. If you contest the charge, there may be ways to resolve the case without it resulting in a conviction. This also makes it possible to obtain an expungement of the charge from your record. An experienced attorney can assist you in obtaining these goals.

    I hope you find this information helpful. I wish you the best of luck.

    Andrew Leone


  5. It will be available to the public on any background check if you enter a plea to the charge. You should retain counsel. If this is a first offense, often a criminal conviction may be avoided with a stay of Prosecution. This would preserve your clean record going forward.

    Disclaimer: Nothing in this email message creates an attorney client relationship absent a retainer agreement with this office. Any response to email inquiries should be considered general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. You should always consult a lawyer in your state regarding your specific legal matter.

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