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hhvgoetz, Rechtsanwalt, LL.M.
Category: German Law
Satisfied Customers: 2855
Experience:  LL.M. in International Trade Law (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
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Hi, Regarding Diebstahl record. I came to work & live in

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Regarding Diebstahl record.
I came to work & live in Germany from Asia. I was charged fine of 400€ for shoplifting on Oct.2011. I'm 30 years old & this is my first crime in my whole life. Actually it was happened because of my carelessness but I can't justify myself by saying an excuse. Also due to language problem (don’t' know German) I couldn't able to express & prove myself. I got panic because of new atmosphere & became like speechless. So I accepted & paid the fine to police as requested to get out of that in shop itself. I was not taken to police station nor taken any photo or finger print while collecting fine. After paying they allowed me to go to my home. Then later I got a letter in deutsch which shown below in bracket. What is that meant? Because of this incident, do I have a criminal record in Germany? Does the below mean that I'm convicted as criminal? Please clear me.

(Ermittlungsverfahren gegen sie
Tatvorwurf: Diebstahl
von der erhebung der öffentlichen klage habe ich im hinblick auf die gegen sie verhängte auflage abgesehen.
Da die auflage bereits vollständig erfüllt ist, wird das verfahren gegen sie endgültig eingestellt.
Die erbrachte sicherheitsleistung wurde als geldauflage verwendet.)

1) Do will I have a criminal record in Germany now?
2) Does it exist only in Germany or full of Europe or full world?
3) Does it exist even after I'm going out of Germany?
4) Please could you tell me whether I will have this record for my whole life or it will be removed after particular time?
5) Does this record affect me to travel world around. I wish to travel some other countries (UK or US) in future for better opportunity for short or Long term. Does this record will affect me to apply for VISA from my country to other country? With a criminal case, it's difficult to get a job & also difficult to travel other country as in every Job or Visa application they ask about any criminal record. Obviously, I can't say NO & if I say YES, I won't get job or VISA. If I say "NO", do I get any problem?
6) Does this mistake spoil my whole career? How can I come out of this?
7) Still how long this record will exist in police records?
8) Do I have a chance to raise request to erase or seal or expunge the record? If so, where & when to approach?

I left Germany 1 year back, but there are opportunities to come back Germany & other European countries. I’m in my own country now. But due to this I’m scared to apply for Visa & Job. My country does lots of outsourced job from Europe where they will force me to send to European countries for long visit. But if my Visa rejected & if they came to know that I have criminal record, and then I will lose my job in own country.

For this one mistake do I have to suffer whole life? What is the solution for this? Please guide me.

Please provide your valuable suggestions for all the above.

Note: Requesting not to post on your site. You can send a detailed mail [email protected]

Thanks with Regards



this fine will not be registered in any record which is visible outside the authorities.

Thus, as long as you don't qualify for a job as a state employee, no one will ever know about the issue.


Make sure not to do shoplifting anymore.

If your are caught again, your history may cause a higher fine which will be registered in a visible way.


However, you will have to mention the "Strafbefehl" when applying for the visa until 5 years after the time the fine was legally binding as the authorities will have the data saved for at least 5 years.


Thus, it is recommendable to ask for a working visa after that time.


For other visa (for example marriage) the whole thing may not be relevant.







The record will only be relevant for Germany!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
For your information, I’m not a German citizen & I’m not living right now in Germany. I’m an outlander stayed in Germany for the period of 1 year, but later I came back to my own country and living here. Now I want to come back to Germany or any other European country for job. For that I have to apply VISA.
I think, case is registered by Federal police & I received a letter from Judicial court.
I heard that a case registered in Federal police will be shared to all Schengen area VISA offices including UK, but you are telling the record will be only for Germany.

I want to correct this mistake & want to live a honest life.

Can you please answer & clarify my questions point by point?

1) Do I have a criminal record in Federal police or Germany now?
2) How many years this record will be available in Federal police or Germany?
3) Please could you tell me whether I will have this record for my whole life or it will be removed after particular years?
4) Does my record get removed automatically after 5 years or will they save for life time being another country citizen?
5) Do I have a chance to request to ERASE or SEAL or EXPUNGE the record? If so, where & when to approach?
6) Does it exist only in Germany or full of Europe as I heard that a case registered in Federal police will be shared to all Schengen area?
7) Does this record allow me to travel UK by hiding my record with Germany as I heard Schengen details shared with UK?
8) Do I need to mention the "Strafbefehl" when applying working VISA for Germany until 5 years only?
9) After 5 years can I fill that column as “NO CRIMINAL RECORDS” for Germany?
10) Do I need to mention the "Strafbefehl" when applying VISA for other EUROPEAN UNION also until 5 years (For example France, Italy, Spain, etc….?
11) Do I need to mention the "Strafbefehl" when applying VISA for the UNITED KINGDOM visa?


1)The Federal Police will get its data from the Bundeszentralregister (where the criminal record is stored). At the moment you have a criminal record, but due to th low fine it can only be seen by authorities



5 years



see above. However, the is the risk of having something stored in another file for example at the local Ausländerbehörde (alien authority). You'll never know.


4) It will be removed in the BZR. Your record at the Ausländerbehörde may be removed later. I don't know the exact times and whether they are actually respected.



It will be erased automatically.



That would be new to me. I only know about a common register for asylum cases (EuroDAC).



You can travel anywhere. It may only not allow you to get a visa for a job in Germany.



I think so, when you are asked.



I would do so. It's basically your only chance to give it a try.



Usually you will not be asked for your German criminal record.


11) See above.


Hope, I could help you.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Basically, there are lots of German companies in my country. When I join a German company here, many times they will transfer me to Germany for job. That time I need to apply VISA & in Germany VISA form they are asking(A) Have you ever been convicted? Sind Sie Vorbestraft? YES/NO(i) In Germany/In Deutschland?__________(details)(ii) In Other countries/Im Ausland?__________(details)In other countries VISA form, they ask like below[For USA:SECURITY AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION:Have you ever been arrested or convicted for any offense or crime, even though subject of a pardon, amnesty, or other similar action? YES / NO]{For UK:(a) Do you have any criminal convictions either in the UK or overseas (you must include spent and unspent convictions as well as traffic offences)? Yes/No If ‘Yes’ please provide detailsDate Country Offence Sentence(b) Have you ever been charged in any country with a criminal offence for which you have not yet been tried in court (including traffic offences)? Yes No If ‘Yes’ please provide detailsDate Country Offence}The above shown 3 country VISA forms questions are for your reference to guide me.-----------------------------------------------------------Regarding old points:3) Do Ausländerbehörde will have my criminal record now? Do you have any idea in this regard?6) Can you please investigate, check & let me know. Can you please confirm whether Schengen details of aliens will be shared to all EU?7) Do you mean that I cannot get a VISA for a job in Germany? It’s for life time or up to 5 years only?10) Usually they don’t ask specifically for German criminal record, but they ask do I have a criminal record in general? If I said Yes, VISA will be rejected. Since Schengen details are shared with other European Union, Do I need to accept that I have record while applying VISA for job in other European Union?-----------------------------------------------------------Additional points:1) Does the immigration office will have my criminal record now?2) With respect to above UK VISA lines, Can I apply VISA for UK without telling my record?3) Does this record considered as I’m convicted?Note: Please reply by points. My reply may delay due to difference in timing of our countries.Sorry for questioning you a lot. I want to get clear about my future.If you want to collect more details from outside. Please take your own time. There is no urgent.

Good news:


I just double checked:


The limitation for criminal offenses can only be found in § 18a I Nr. 7 Aufenthg.


However, this is only relevant for immigrants being illegal but not send home (geduldet=tolerated). For the normal work-visa such minor criminal record is not relevant.


This is the reason, why such minor things of less than 90 days wages (Tagessätze) fine are not relevant.


Thus, you should mention the record, because the fact of not mentioning may be interpreted as a criminal offense as well and can be the reason not to issue the visa.


Be aware of the fact that the translation of the mentioned visa-form is wrong:


Have you ever been convicted? means:

Wurden Sie je strafrechtlich verurteilt.



refers only to those convictions which exist in the "Führungszeugnis". Thus, you would only have to mention anything from 90 Tagessätze which has not been deleted from the record before (after 5 years for most minor things).


The easiest would be just to put the date and fine (in day's wages = Tagessätze). However, 400 Euros cannot be more than 20 or 30 Tagessätze.


Regarding the provisions in the UK and other EU countries I cannot give any detailed information.


Anyway, your "criminal record" will not be a problem for a visa in Germany.




Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks for the link. Could you please translate which said in the below link you sent as I don't know deutsch.


Also, Do this considered as punishment or convicted?


Can I request you not to post my questions & Answers in the Just answer website. Please.

This § is only applicable for people who are with "Duldung" in Germany (illegal but tolerated).


In this case a permit can only be issued the person was never convicted (exception: fines for crimes related to the residence permit from 50 to 90 day's salaries).



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry, I'm not understanding.

You mean, I'm not convicted?


What should I say this then?

If you mean convicted = vorbestraft.

Then you are not convicted.


If convicted = verurteilt (sentenced), then you are.


It all depends on the way you translate it.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please clear me in simple way.

Letter I received say:

(Ermittlungsverfahren gegen sie
Tatvorwurf: Diebstahl
von der erhebung der öffentlichen klage habe ich im hinblick auf die gegen sie verhängte auflage abgesehen.
Da die auflage bereits vollständig erfüllt ist, wird das verfahren gegen sie endgültig eingestellt.
Die erbrachte sicherheitsleistung wurde als geldauflage verwendet.)


This means I'm convicted or not? Yes or No


If No, what should I say this as? For example: Punishment, fined????

This was just a fine without conviction (§ 153a StPO). So it's not relevant at all.

It will only be relevant if you commit a criminal offense again.



hhvgoetz and other German Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Please check again all the question & answer once again. Please go through our all discussion & if you feel any points can be double check for valuable answer. Please do reply me. There are few points asked about immigration point of view. If you come to know some good points after your investigation or double check. Please inform me the same as this will really help me much in future. Thanks for your service.

With your additional info I can confirm that you do not have a criminal record.


Please specify the questions left over once again (in short by numbers)!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Ok, I will specify that shortly. Need some time.


I have another question. If suppose, I share my police record number to you. Is it possible to check & enquire whether that shows as criminal record?

Sorry, without your authorization I won't be able to check anything.


However, if we are talking about fines less than 90 day's salaries (Tagessätze), don't worry!

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