I failed to appear over 12 years, no fine, was there a conviction? 3 Answers as of April 19, 2012

I was caught shoplifting when I was 19. That was over 12 years ago. I failed to appear on the court date, and a bench warrant was issued. For over 12 years, I did not hear anything further. Recently, I contacted the court and attempted to pay the bench warrant. I was informed that I did not owe anything, and they provided me with a release so that the suspension on my license can be lifted. Since I never appeared in court, and never paid a fine, was this a conviction? Were the charges dropped? I don't understand and the court is NOT helpful. I am trying to figure out if I need to be concerned for background checks going forward, as I have not had any issues before attempting to clear this up.

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Office of Michael Moody
Law Office of Michael Moody | Michael Moody
You need to go to the Sheriff's Office or any policing agency and ask them to run a criminal background so you will know what a prospective employer might know. It sounds like you definitely don't have a conviction, but if the arrest is still on your record, you should attempt to have it expunged.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/19/2012
H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
No, you weren't convicted. You just need to make sure the bench warrant is no longer active. If it is, any time a cop stops you, they will arrest you for the outstanding warrant.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/19/2012
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
No one knows. He you have to appear in the jurisdiction that you were supposed to appear in 12 years ago. The records may all be destroyed and you may have gotten a pass. If not, you can then pay the fine, OR challenge the shoplifting since the witnesses are probably no longer available.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 4/18/2012
Click to View More Answers: