These are questions that you should discuss in detail with your lawyer. If you were fingerprinted and photographed when you were arrested, most background checks will show the arrest. However, if you complete PTI you will be able to expunge the record of your arrest six months after completing the PTI (usually 1 year). The sooner you hire a lawyer the bette because shoplifting charges are often downgraded to municipal court. In municipal court there is no PTI program and you will most likely have to plead guilty to something or go to trial. It is important for your lawyer to get in touch with the prosecutor as soon as possible.
There are certain types of questions that can be simply answered on Avvo, while there are others that require considerably more analysis. For this particular question, you need to provide additional details concerning the specifics of your situation.
I strongly suggest that you contact a lawyer directly, whether myself or one of my colleagues. If you appreciate the time spent preparing this answer, kindly consider marking it BEST ANSWER or HELPFUL. Good luck to you.
Dean P. Murray
The Murray Law Firm
560 Sylvan Avenue
Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
Mr. Murray's response is NOT legal advice and does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. You should NOT rely on this response. Mr. Murray's response was generated without conducting a full inquiry as would occur during a face to face attorney-client consultation. It is likely that the response above may be made less accurate, or become entirely inaccurate, as you, i.e. the questioner, disclose additional facts that should only be discussed during a private consultation with an attorney. I strongly recommend that you consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your state (or, in the case of immigration law, and attorney in ANY state), whereupon all relevant facts will be discussed. All responses posted by Mr. Murray on Avvo.com are intended as general information for the education of the public, and not for any specific individual.