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Hammer O'Justice
Hammer O'Justice, Criminal Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 4395
Experience:  Almost 12 years of legal experience, primarily in criminal law
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I plead quilty to shoplifting in ********* County in *******

Customer Question

I plead quilty to shoplifting in ********* County in ******* in 1992. How do I find out if I have a criminal record. And I don't know if it was a misdemeanor or felony. It was my first offense and my last. I'm pretty sure the amount was less than $500.00. I had to do community service. Can't remember but something like 50 to 100 hours and 1 year of probation. I want to apply for a Lisince to carry a concealed weapon and I've heard that if you have a felony record you can't do this. Thank you for your help.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 10 months ago.

Hello.

If you pleaded guilty then you most likely have a record. You can order your official criminal record by following these instructions and paying the required fee:

http://www.alea.gov/home/wfContent.aspx?PLH1=plhACJIC-CriminalHistory

You are correct that if you have a felony conviction that you cannot get a concealed carry permit; in fact, it is illegal under federal law to possess or own a firearm or even ammunition. But that law also prohibits people who have been convicted of misdemeanors punishable by more than one year as well (that means if the maximum penalty exceeds one year...not if you actually were sentenced to more than a year). So it is definitely a good idea to check your record just to make sure you are allowed to even possess guns before pursuing your concealed carry. Hope this helps!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Does your record last forever or is there a time limit that it will not show up on your record. I read that usually a first time offence is a misdemeanor but I seem to remember hearing felony. And are you saying punishable by one year also means the same thing as being on probation for one year?
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 10 months ago.

A criminal record is forever, unless a person is able to get a charge expunged or otherwise removed from their record. It is not like say, your traffic record where tickets drop off after a period of time.

Generally, shoplifting offenses are not graded by whether it is your first offense or not...they are graded by the amount you stole. Currently, theft in Alabama under $500 is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. Higher dollar amounts are felonies.

When I say punishable by more than one year, I mean that carries a possible jail term of more than one year (notice that I said the law says that the penalty must EXCEED one year...it does not include a year). Probation is irrelevant to that particular determination. So if you were convicted of theft under $500, that would not prohibit you from possessing a firearm because the possible penalty is exactly one year, not exceeding it.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I just need to go to the website you gave me and check for sure what it says. Ok Thank You.
Expert:  Hammer O'Justice replied 10 months ago.

Well, the website won't tell you your record but it will tell you the process that you have to go through to get a copy of your record. Since it is protected information you have to go through a notary and provide your ID, etc. The website explains the process.

Good luck. Please leave me positive feedback so I get credit for my answers. Take care!