In 2010, I made the mistake of shoplifting at a store. I was an adult at the time. My court process went more or less like this: I plead not guilty, and at the next court date I plead guilty and was given a deal that if I didn't receive any more criminal violations for one year, the case would be dismissed. The case was dismissed after one year, but I still have a "misdemeanor for 3rd degree retail fraud" on my record. My lawyer told me that I would have no record, but when I did my student teaching, my criminal record came back with the misdemeanor. It was a very unpleasant surprise and the school was not very happy about it. I had no intention of lying to the school - I was under the impression that my record was clear!
It would very much appreciated if as many of the following questions could be answered as possible:
- Was there some kind of mistake? Why would my lawyer say I don't have a record and then I actually do?
- Is my only option to clear my record to wait until 5 years have passed and then try to have it expunged?
- If I do indeed have my record expunged, when I go to apply for my teaching license, will the state of Michigan still have access to this information?
- If I have it expunged, will I honestly be able to state on job applications that no, I have not been convicted of any crimes?
- Can schools in the state of Michigan view expunged records?
I have not been able to get straight answers to any of these questions. Please help.
Thank you for your time.