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For minor first offenses, shoplifting in NJ is usually a misdemeanor. However, shoplifting can be charged as a felony depending on the details of a matter. That said the only way you can know whether your charge was a misdemeanor or a felony would be to evaluate (or preferably have your attorney evaluate) the record of the charge. Criminal records can be obtained by contacting the Clerk of Court's Office in the county in which the charges took place. Some Clerk's Offices actually publish records on the internet. However, the only way to find out whether or not that service is available is to contact the Clerk's Office and inquire. If records are not online, the Clerk's Office can provide copies. Alternatively, prosecutor's offices can be very helpful to individuals in determining what they were charged with. A call to the prosecutor's office can occasionally be the easiest way to determine the severity of what an individual was charged with, though the helpfulness of each office can vary.
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Yes. Criminal records don't typically disappear on their own and are available to the public unless they're sealed or expunged.