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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23174
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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what if you pleaded guilty to shoplifting back in 1986 or 87

Customer Question

what if you pleaded guilty to shoplifting back in 1986 or 87 can your record be cleared
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 6 years ago.

Unfortunately, states like their criminal convictions to stick. So they all limit what can be expunged and what cannot. North Carolina will expunge certain convictions if you were under 18. (See link to law). If yours was a juvenile conviction and you have not been in further trouble it should be expungeable. I have linked you to a plain English version of the Expungement law for your state so that you can see whether you'd qualify for any of the situations that NC will remove, but if you weren't a juvenile, it doesn't look good.

If you aren't able to get an expungement, the only other thing that might be helpful to you would be to secure a pardon from the Governor. If you could get one, a pardon would not hide your record. Your conviction would show but it would say that you'd been pardoned on your RAP sheet. Pardons are very difficult to get and they constitute official recognition from the state that you've turned your life around.

You would have to contact the Governor's Office of Executive Clemency for a application, as they do the screening for the governor. You can find their contact information on their website here.This is something you could do for yourself, without needing a lawyer.

Good luck!