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“Thanks Tara for always believing in me and making me feel like I was your only client. You made the impossible possible. Forever grateful.”

- Gabriel V.

Shoplifting Defense Attorney in Middletown, New Jersey

At The Law Office of Tara Breslow-Testa, defending against charges of shoplifting in Middletown, NJ involves a nuanced understanding of both the law and the personal circumstances of each client. As a seasoned Middletown defense attorney, I bring a comprehensive and empathetic approach to each case, recognizing the significant impact that a shoplifting charge can have on an individual’s life. These are the aspects of defending shoplifting charges, potential defenses, and how our Middletown shoplifting defense lawyer approach these cases to achieve the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Understanding Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey

In New Jersey, shoplifting isn't merely a petty crime; it is treated seriously and can lead to significant penalties. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, shoplifting can include actions such as taking merchandise without paying the full price, concealing goods with the intent to deprive the owner of their full value, altering price tags, or transferring goods from one container to another. The penalties for shoplifting vary based on the value of the merchandise involved and can range from a disorderly persons offense for items valued under $200 to a second-degree offense for items valued over $75,000.

Legal Challenges in Shoplifting Cases

Defending against a shoplifting charge requires careful scrutiny of the evidence and the circumstances surrounding the alleged incident. A critical aspect of these cases is determining the intent, as the law requires that the person must have intended to deprive the merchant of the value of the merchandise. Proving intent—or disputing it—often becomes the focal point of the defense.

Common Defenses to Shoplifting in New Jersey
  1. Lack of Intent: One of the most effective defenses is demonstrating that the accused did not intend to shoplift. This could be relevant in cases where there was a genuine misunderstanding or confusion about the ownership or payment of the item.
  2. Mistake or Accident: Accidentally leaving a store with an unpaid item does not necessarily constitute shoplifting if it can be shown that there was no intent to steal.
  3. Wrongful Accusation or Identity Mistake: In some cases, a person might be wrongfully accused due to mistaken identity, especially in busy store environments where surveillance footage is not clear.
  4. Unlawful Search and Seizure: If the evidence was obtained through an unlawful search, it might be possible to have it suppressed, which can significantly weaken the prosecution’s case.
Strategic Approach to Defending Against Shoplifting Charges

At The Law Office of Tara Breslow-Testa, our approach to defending shoplifting charges involves several strategic steps:

  • Thorough Investigation: We begin with a thorough investigation of the case, including reviewing surveillance footage, witness statements, and police reports. Understanding the sequence of events and the evidence collected by the prosecution is crucial.
  • Client Consultation: Meeting with the client to understand their perspective and gather information about their actions and intentions is essential. This helps in building a defense that accurately represents their situation.
  • Evidence Review: Scrutinizing the evidence for any inconsistencies or weaknesses in the prosecution’s case is a key part of our strategy. This includes assessing the reliability of surveillance footage and the credibility of witness testimony.
  • Negotiations and Plea Bargaining: Depending on the circumstances, negotiating with prosecutors for reduced charges or alternative penalties can be a viable option. This is particularly relevant in cases where the evidence of intent is weak or the accused has no prior criminal history.
  • Trial Preparation: If the case goes to trial, preparing thoroughly is key. This includes prepping witnesses, planning cross-examinations, and developing compelling arguments to present to the jury.

Defending against shoplifting charges requires not only a deep legal knowledge but also a personalized approach that considers the individual circumstances of each client. At The Law Office of Tara Breslow-Testa, we are committed to providing vigorous defense and personalized legal strategies aimed at achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.

Facing a shoplifting charge can be daunting, but with the right legal representation, you can navigate the challenges and work towards a resolution that minimizes the impact on your future.

If you have been charged with shoplifting in Target, ShopRite, HomeGoods, Shop and Stop, Kohl’s or any other store, our Middletown defense attorney is available.

Contact our Law Office right aways if you have been charged with shoplifting. Our experience defense attorney offers a free consultation.

Client Reviews
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"Tara Breslow is by far the best lawyer. She makes the impossible become possible. If it was not for her.. I do not know where i would be. This is the lawyer you want. She is amazing!!..." Brittany
"I called Tara on a Sunday morning and to my surprise, she returned my call that same day. My son was facing serious criminal charges in Monmouth County that could have affected him for the rest of his life. However, Tara dug in and worked the case that resulted in a better than expected disposition. I HIGHLY recommend her to anyone facing any serious criminal charges." Jose
"Tara presented my case in a positive way, which resulted in a more favorable outcome for me. She advised me very well and helped me prepare for my court appearance. Tara is a very reliable and experienced attorney. If it weren't for her assistance, I would not have had such a positive outcome in my court appearance." Anonymous