If you never see a judge, have your fingerprints taken, or get...

If you never see a judge, have your fingerprints taken, or get arrested, can you still have a criminal record?

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For example a citation for a misdemeanor still on record
When i was 14 i got caught for shop lifting and was issued a citation. I had to pay a fine and do community service but never seen a judge and was not even arrested. Is it still a conviction…will it show up on a fbi background check..


  1. If you were issued a citation, paid it by mailing in the fine; you were never arrested, printed, or saw a judge. But the record of the citation is now on your record.

    If you were suspected of a crime, had a warrant issued for your arrest, but you have hid out all this time. You have a criminal record (i.e., and active arrest warrant) even though you have not been arrested, printed, or ever saw a judge.

    Just read your addition.

    Yes, you have a Juvenile record. Both the shoplifting charge, the citation, and the disposition (fine paid, community service) are listed.

  2. If your social security number is on the citation, (and it is,) you have a criminal record. Shoplifting is one thing that will stick with you longer than the belly fat you try to lose on the treadmill once you’re in your 30s.

  3. Since you were a minor when the citation occurred, the record cannot be accessed (except in rare instances). The record is sealed once you become an adult. It will not show up on an FBI background check.

    So, for example if you were to fill out an employment application which asked if you had any criminal record, you could say no with no detrimental effects.

    Most employment applications will not ask the question in that manner however. Most ask if you have even been convicted of a felony (which would be "no" in your case anyway).

  4. Hire a private investigator to run a criminal background check on you. Couple hundred dollars ( I am guessing).

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