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Can a Shoplifting Conviction Come off My Record?


As of January 1, 2021, there are certain times a shoplifting conviction can come off your record or be expunged (restricted) in Georgia. Historically, there have been very few times a guilty plea or guilty verdict can come off your record or be expunged.  However, with a recent change to Georgia law, you may be eligible to have a shoplifting theft crime wiped off your record.

Criteria and Process to Restrict Old Shoplifting Charges

In order to take advantage of this new “Second Chance” law for a shoplifting case, certain criteria must be met.  They include:

1.     You must file a petition with the original court

2.     4 years must have passed since your shoplifting case was closed

3.     You have not have been convicted of a new offense in that time

4.     You must not have any pending charges

If you meet the above criteria, you can file a petition in the court your case was closed in.  You must serve a copy to the prosecutor’s office, and they, of course, have the right to argue their case to the judge as well.  A hearing on your request must take place within 90 days, where the judge will weigh the harm to you versus the public’s interest in your record being available. If the judge determines your privacy interest clearly outweighs the public’s interest in your shoplifting conviction, they will issue an order to restrict your case information. 

What is “Record Restriction?”

Record restriction in Georgia means that your official state-kept criminal history record will be updated so that most entities, like potential employers, cannot see the arrest or case information.  Essentially, your shoplifting case would be wiped from the public eye.  Prosecutors and law enforcement can always see a full, unamend criminal record and your case could still be held against you should you have future legal problems. 

How Zeliff | Watson Can Help Clear a Shoplifting Charge

If you have a past shoplifting case or conviction that have hurt your record and good name, reach out to our Team today to see if we can help you.  We have over 35 combined years of experience in defending shoplifting and related cases and keep track of any changes to the law that may help you.  If we represent you in your case, we will prepare the petition, file it, prepare you for any hearings that occur, and be in Court with you every step of the way- including arguing why your shoplifting crime shouldn’t remain on your record.  Let us restore your good name and lessen the negative effects of a shoplifting conviction.  Peter and Evan can be reached 24/7 at (770) 887-3720 or by using the contact form within our website.

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