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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27761
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If someone hAS 2 MISDEMEANOR 5 convictions for shoplifting

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If someone hAS 2 MISDEMEANOR
5 convictions for shoplifting and the time past is 17 years can this be expunged
Hello Jacustomer,

It depends on the state. Where were you convicted of these offenses? Please use the reply tab below to tell me. While you're at it tell me what years the convictions occurred, as sometimes how close together they are can be relevant.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Convictions were in Iowa--both in 1996 just months apart .


Are you saying there were only 2 arrests but that there were 5 convictions between the two?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No. Two convictions of misdemeanor #5 shoplifting. One item was $50.00 and I believe the other item was $13.96.


Thank you for clarifying and sorry for the delay. I thought you were saying there were 5 separate convictions.

Iowa will not expunge an adult conviction. If this were a juvenile offense you would be eligible for an expungement. If you got a deferred disposition (case dismissed at the end of probation) you could get that off of your record too. If the exceptions don't apply, then there are two things you can do.

The first is to apply for a pardon from the governor. That doesn't wipe the crimes off of your record, but it forgives them and that is stamped on your history. You can read more about the pardon here. It is free to apply and you don't need a lawyer to do it. They are not frequently granted, but you've been out of trouble a very long time and would be a better candidate than many applicants.

For the other you would need a lawyer and it may prove to be an expensive longshot. That would be to hire a lawyer to petition the court to get the case back on the calendar and try to get it dismissed in the interest of justice. The judge has the power under Equity to do something like that even when the law doesn't provide for it, if it is necessary to prevent an injustice from occurring. Courts are sparing in their use of the equity power and many don't like to use it at all, but it is something you could explore with a local criminal lawyer who would be able to tell you how viable this would be with your particular judge. If you can get either one or both of these dismissed, then Iowa will expunge it.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The only punishment was a fine and I was never read my Miranda rights, nor did they cuff me and take me to any police station. Does this have any meaning at all?


Since you gave up the right to challenge the Miranda violation at the time by taking a plea, it would probably not be much of an issue now. But the fact that it was treated with only a fine at the time, and, for example, if you didn't take anything worth much value, might help a lawyer make a compelling argument that enough is enough when you have clearly turned your life around.

Again, however, not every judge will do this for you. That's why you need to discuss it with a local attorney and let him write up the petition.
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