Skip to main content

Will your record be expunged if you committed retail theft as a minor and got a summary offense when you turn 18?

Hershey, PA |

My girlfriends age is 17 and the two of us have retail theft against us. This is a first offense and was a summary

Attorney Answers 5

Posted

Expungements are not automatic. You should retain a criminal defense attorney who will be able to petition the court and resolve the matter for you.

Mark as helpful

4 lawyers agree

Posted

There are no guarantees your record will be expunged. You need to consult a lawyer in your county to file a petition to resolve the issue.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

3 lawyers agree

7 comments

Asker

Posted

I have two questions. She is 17 so she is a juvenile. So when she turns 18 can she go to get it expunged then? My second is I'm 19. We both have a retail theft summary. Are there ways to lessen the punishments such as waiting 5 years to expunge a summary such?

Douglas Lee Dolfman

Douglas Lee Dolfman

Posted

I think your answer depends on the retail summary. You might have to wait 5 years to expunge the summary. Depends on the Judge and what else you have going for you in your life.

Asker

Posted

That's understandable. I'm currently a college and I might get my degree within 3 years and she will in the next 4. Both are medical degrees. We both are willing to pay the fines and show up to court. Is it possible that this could make a difference Or possibly other ways around the 5 year period such as a program or probation?

Douglas Lee Dolfman

Douglas Lee Dolfman

Posted

If you want the help I could go to Hershey for you and file the petitions, but they would be far more expensive than the fines. However, you know at least it would be done for you the right day.

Asker

Posted

Well this situation actually occurred in Allentown. I live in hershey. To be honest with you neither my girlfriend or I have any idea what to do. We just received a slip to mail in if we were guilty or not. We both know what we did but we do not know what are options are for this. I'm waiting on somebody to get back to me but I don't know what to do if they don't. What possible outcomes could I expect? Also, what does a petition do?

Asker

Posted

This situation also happened on 2/22/13 so I have yet to plead guilty or not guilty

Douglas Lee Dolfman

Douglas Lee Dolfman

Posted

I would send the slips in and plead not guilty and ask for a hearing date. If you both wish to hire me to handle these matters, you can give me a call at 215-266-3696 and we can discuss it further on the phone,

Posted

There is no guarantee that you will be able to have a record expunged, even if it falls under a category that permits expungement, (guilty pleas or convictions of felonies and misdemeanors in PA are not eligible for expungement). You should contact an attorney in PA to provide more detailed information.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

5 lawyers agree

2 comments

Asker

Posted

This occurred in Allentown on 2/22/13. I have yet to go to court or mail in that I'm guilty. I was also told that this was a summary and a first offense. I have no prior criminal history

Gregory S. Shields

Gregory S. Shields

Posted

If your g/f was under 18 when this happened and this is a summary offense, once she turns 18 you may obtain an expungement if the prosecution consents to expungement or you have been off of juvenile probation supervision for a period of 5 years. As stated, you should retain an attorney to assist you through the expungement process.

Posted

I saw in your answer to Mr. Shields question that you have not yet either appeared in court or admitted guilt. Rather than worrying about expungement at this point, you should contact an attorney to defend you against these charges. This way you will be in a better position to avoid conviction in the first place.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

5 lawyers agree

Posted

Having come late to this party and having the benefit of the greater detail developed in the back and forth that has taken place, I wish to try to avoid possible confusion based on answers that have come in as the detail available has increased. First thing you must do is make sure that you guys have had your pleas of guilty entered and requests for a hearing filed. I practice in the western part of the state where procedures may be different than in Allentown. Because Retail Theft is graded (the seriousness of the charge ranging from a summary offense to a Felony 3) in part based upon the existence and number of prior offenses, all such charges require fingerprinting so the Commonwealth can keep track of the number of priors. Accordingly in my part of the world, unless prior(s) are known at the time of police involvement, the case is sent out as a Non-Traffic Citation charging the offense at it lowest grade possible. A Fingerprint Order also is sent requiring that fingerprinting be done. When the results of that procedure are received the Magistrate's Office then knows whether a higher grading is appropriate because of one or more prior offenses. Regardless of what impact if any the fingerprint results have, a Criminal Summons is sent out with a date and time for a hearing. Since I do not practice in Lehigh County, I suggest you talk with (I think in person is least subject to confusion) the personnel in that office about what you can expect as far as procedures and what steps you and your girlfriend must take to plead not guilty and have a hearing. An attorney who practices regularly in your county would make sense. Most here offer free, if limited, consultations. Take advantage of that to talk privately with one or more in your area. Get yourself an education and hopefully find a lawyer that you want to have help you out. Fees can vary considerably so be a smart consumer and shop around. Good luck.

Mark as helpful

1 found this helpful

4 lawyers agree

Juvenile law topics

Top tips from attorneys

What others are asking

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer

Browse all legal topics