Hi. Two weeks ago I was caught shoplifting items of 30$ at Walmart. I was taken back to their loss prevention room and given civil recovery papers and the cops came and gave me a citation. Later this week I found out I qualified for Diversion so I would not have a misdemeanor on my record. Now I'm wondering if I complete diversion, will anything be on my record? Like criminal charges or a citation record? Also, will I be able to get a job anywhere? Thanks for your help.
Depending on your age, yes, there will typcially still be records out there, even with diversion. Once you complete the diversion program, you should contact a lawyer and seek an expungement.
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If you are ever arrested or cited for something, it will always be on your record for law enforcement and prosecutors to see. What is important is that under every charge there is disposition information. For example, your criminal history printout would indicate if you were convicted at trial, pleaded guilty, case dismissed by prosecutor, completed diversion, etc. The diversion means that you were never convicted and is a great result but it is still there on your record.
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I agree with my colleagues but it is important you consult with an attorney right away. In some jurisdictions you are not eligible for an expungement if you pled or agreed to any kind of deferred disposition.
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Unfortunately, the State typically wants criminal convictions to remain on a person's record. There are several reasons for this. In order to qualify for diversion, I agree with my colleagues that you will be pleading guilty, which makes expungement more difficult. Judges figure, "well, if you admitted to it, why should we wipe it off your record?" The other problem with expungement is that you generally have to wait quite some time before applying. You can not get a charge expunged immediately or soon after the offense. If you have an attorney, and this is a first offense, you may wish to talk to them about the possibility of getting a stay of adjudication, which means that you plead guilty but the judge rejects your guilty plea, puts you on probation with the court, and after a certain amount of time (usually a year), if you remain law abiding and pay restitution and fees, the case is dismissed after one year. This would mean that the case is not on your record. If you have not explored this option, please do. Some prosecutors and judges will use this disposition, others will not. It depends on the offense and the county, but it is not unusual in misdemeanor theft cases. Best of luck to you.
Nothing will be on your criminal record if you complete diversion successfully. However, there remains a court record of the case which is different from conviction, except in certain juvenile cases. The only way to make the court record go away is through an expungement (i.e., sealing of the record). Talk to a qualified attorney about filing for an expungement once you've successfully competed the diversion program.
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