You have the right to file a petition to have your record expunged. Under New Jersey law the fact that the value of the item taken was under $50 made the conviction a disorderly
person's offense. See the applicable code below:(4) Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense under subsection b. of this section if the full retail value of the merchandise is less than $200.00. Additionally, notwithstanding the term of imprisonment provided in N.J.S.2C:43-6 or 2C:43-8, any person convicted of a shoplifting offense shall be sentenced to perform community service as follows: for a first offense, at least ten days of community service; for a second offense, at least 15 days of community service; and for a third or subsequent offense, a maximum of 25 days of community service and any person convicted of a third or subsequent shoplifting offense shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days.
New Jersey Laws limit eligibility for expungement. Expungements are generally available for persons who:
- Have been arrested but the charges were dismissed.
- Have successfully completed the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program or obtained a conditional discharge for a drug offense and six months have passed.
- Have been convicted of a municipal ordinance violation and more then 2 years have gone by.
- Have been convicted of a petty disorderly persons or disorderly persons offense and more then 5 years passed since all fines have been paid and/or probation has been completed.
- Have been convicted of a crime (Felony) and more then 10 years have gone by since completion of probation and/or release from prison and payment of all fines.
New Jersey code, N.J.S.A. 2C:52-9 states that the Court must hear your matter within 35 to 60 days of the date it is filed. Generally, however, the process usually takes a few months from the time you engage our services, but there is no set answer to this question because scheduling depends largely on the Court and its caseload.
It is a very good idea to go through the expungement process, once you are elligible, given your desire to work in retail. You are best served by retaining an attorney skilled in expungment proceedings as you will have a better chance of convincing the court that expungement is appropriate in your case.
I wish you sucess in getting your record expunged.
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