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If I was given a ticket for retail theft without being arrested, will it stay on my record if I pay the fine?

Madison, WI |
Attorney answers 2


It is technically a civil regulatory offense not a criminal conviction. But it will stay on your record. Your attorney may be able to get it expunged or a deferred prosecution that can be dismissed under a first offender program.

This is not intended as legal advice. It is only provided for educational purposes and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. Further no attorney client relationship is or has been formed by answering this question.


If you pay the fine, you will be convicted by default, and the conviction will be entered into the court records. the impact of such a record can largely depend upon the court in which you are being prosecuted. For example, if you are being prosecuted in a circuit court, those records are readily available to anyone through the internet. However, if you are being prosecuted in a municipal court, many municipal court's do not have court records available to the public on line. If you are convicted in Circuit Court, there may be a way to have the conviction expunged, but for an ordinance violation, there is a split of opinion as to whether there is legal authority allowing judges to expunge those types of cases. To avoid a conviction, you may be able to enter into a resolution that will ultimately result in dismissal of the charge after a period of law abiding conduct and some community service, a kind of informal probation, the successful completion of which will result in dismissal.