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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    germany
    Posts
    2

    Default Effect of a shoplifting charge on jobs in the future

    I am an Indian student studying in a German university. Like many others who posted their stories, I too made a single such mistake in life, tried stealing two music CDs (worth a total of 8 Euro) from a local store here in Germany.

    I was caught by the store security guys and taken to the behind room. They searched me to ensure that those were the only things I was taking and then they called police. I was already repenting and I accepted that I was guilty. The police officer took a copy of my passport and told me to meet him in his office the next day. I was extremely nervous. I come from a good family and was always a good boy in everything, just couldn't believe I was facing the police.

    I met him the next day, he just took my address and told me that he would inform me by letter when to meet him next. I asked him about what kind of punishment would I receive... he said I won't go to jail, will just have to pay some fine, may be up to 100-150 Euro.

    I spent extremely depressed for a few days and then decided to be brave and face the consequence of what I have actually done and get on with my life. I received a letter after a three weeks in which I was called to meet the officer in his office. I went there. He took my personal details, -- what I do, my parents' names, my home address etc. I came home with the idea that I will be fined about 100 Euro.

    Since then, I have lived there for more than three years now, but haven't got any letter or phone or anything about it either from the police or from the store. Initially I was afraid whether I would be allowed to leave/enter Germany freely, but I went to India twice after that, faced no problem. I extended my visa every year since then, the officers in the visa office never told me anything about it. In short, I have not faced any consequence of that since then. I don't know why I have not been fined yet. Also, I have not contacted or asked them about it.

    May be after a few months I shall finish my studies. I want to take up a job in either technical or educational or some other field. That may be in Germany, may be in some other country, may be in my home country India. How much effect will this charge have on my job openings? From what I read in other posts, I guess that the charge will remain in my history. Unfortunate for me, but I have to accept it.

    I feel extremely bad whenever I think back and recall that I did such a thing, those moments were surely the worst moments in my life. I also feel that it was rather good that I was caught, I was lucky not to get away with it, it has taught me a lot. But my employers are not supposed understand that right? I am not afraid, but I don't want this issue to come up in my life, nobody in my family and none of my friends and hopefully nobody in my circle knows about it. Can you tell me what are the kinds of jobs in which the employer may overlook this issue?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Shoplifting in Germany

    It sounds like your charge, somehow "fell through the cracks" (as we say in America). That is, somehow the paperwork was misdirected or some other error was made, such that the charge was not pursued. It is possible that, beyond the initial report to the police, there is no record for a potential employer to find.

    From your description of events, assuming no other encounters with the law, you could honestly tell an employer that you have not been convicted of a crime.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    germany
    Posts
    2

    Default Can it arise again?

    Yes, I was never called in court, I didn't have to pay any fine, nothing. While taking my details, the officer was talking to his colleague in a manner "only 8 Euro, that's 15 DMarks...", I would be grateful to that office for my entire life if he himself burried that matter there.

    But, I don't want to assume the best. Is it possible that suddenly now they find that file and recall that it wasn't finished and hurry up to take action? Can this matter arise again when I am not in Germany and then can I face some problem? I know, these are not well defined questions, but I hope my point is clear.

    Do you mean that if I did not have to pay the fine (well, when he took my details, I signed a paper which stated that I accpet my guilt) and wasn't taken to the court, technically I don't have a criminal record?

    Furthermore, how much of these records are passed over to other countries? When I go to some other country, will a no-criminal record mean a "no-criminal" record everywhere in the world? What would be the document I might have to produce?

    I think I still have one or two more questions, but I would like to wait for your reply till I can formulate them clearly.

    Thanks a lot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    28,656

    Default Re: Can it arise again?

    Quote Quoting ind_student
    Is it possible that suddenly now they find that file and recall that it wasn't finished and hurry up to take action? Can this matter arise again when I am not in Germany and then can I face some problem? I know, these are not well defined questions, but I hope my point is clear.
    It is possible. With the passage of time it becomes less probable.

    Quote Quoting ind_student
    Do you mean that if I did not have to pay the fine (well, when he took my details, I signed a paper which stated that I accpet my guilt) and wasn't taken to the court, technically I don't have a criminal record?
    If you were never charged with a crime, and were never convicted in court, you do not have a criminal record. If you were never arrested, you do not have an arrest record.

    Quote Quoting ind_student
    Furthermore, how much of these records are passed over to other countries? When I go to some other country, will a no-criminal record mean a "no-criminal" record everywhere in the world? What would be the document I might have to produce?
    Records which don't exist obviously cannot be shared. At this point I am not sure what, if any, records exist, beyond the initial report taken by the police.

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