Shoplifting is considered a serious crime in New Jersey, with severe repercussions that may impact you professionally, personally, and financially. In fact, a conviction for shoplifting may result in probation, time spent in jail, fines, community service, and a charge on your criminal record. Further, shoplifting is considered a crime of moral turpitude, which may spell negative implications for your immigration status if you not a United States citizen. The degree of a shoplifting charge is contingent upon the estimated monetary value of the allegedly stolen merchandise. In other words, the higher the value of the stolen goods, the more serious the charges, and the more severe the penalties associated with a conviction. In order to protect your rights and your innocence, it is critical to have an aggressive legal advocate in your corner.
Serving people in Freehold, Eatontown, and other communities, Monmouth County shoplifting lawyer Tara Breslow is guided by a commitment to provide the most personalized attention to each and every one of her clients. When presented with your case, she will conduct a thorough investigation, educate you about the charges you are facing, explain your options, and ensure that you are in a position to make the best possible decisions for your future. Over ten years of experience as a criminal defense attorney and former public defender in Monmouth and Union counties, as well as New Jersey Federal Court, has provided Ms. Breslow with the knowledge and skill to achieve superior results for her clients. She vigorously defendants adults and juveniles charged with crimes in towns throughout Monmouth County, earning thousands of grateful clients along the way. To discuss your case with Ms. Breslow free of charge, contact her offices in Seaside Heights today at 732.858.5305.Shoplifting Lawyer Serving Freehold, Eatontown, and Beyond
Shoplifting offenses are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. According to be this statute, you may be found guilty of shoplifting if you commit any of the following acts:
- Take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise;
- Purposely conceal an item or merchandise;
- Purposely alter, transfer or remove any label, price tag or marking;
- Transfer an item or merchandise to another container;
- Under-ring an item or merchandise; or
- Remove a shopping cart from the premises.
The other requirement of a shoplifting offense involves intent. This means that the State must prove that you committed any of the above acts with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full value of the item or merchandise.Penalties for Shoplifting in New Jersey
As indicated above, the degree of the charges in a shoplifting case are determined primarily by the monetary value of the allegedly stolen merchandise. The following is a list that delineates the varying degrees of shoplifting charges, as well as the penalties associated with each.Shoplifting as a Disorderly Persons Offense
When an act of shoplifting involves merchandise valued at $200 or less, the defendant is charged with a disorderly persons offense. These offenses are punishable by a sentence to serve up to 6 months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a charge on the defendant’s criminal record.Fourth Degree Shoplifting
When an act of shoplifting involves merchandise valued at between $200 and $500, the defendant is charged with a fourth degree crime. These offenses are punishable by a sentence to serve up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison, a fine of up to $10,000, and a felony charge on the defendant’s criminal record.Third Degree Shoplifting
When an act of shoplifting involves merchandise valued at between $500 and $75,000, the defendant is charged with a third degree crime. These offenses are punishable by a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in New Jersey State Prison, a fine of up to $15,000, and a felony charge on the defendant’s criminal record.Second Degree Shoplifting
When an act of shoplifting involves merchandise, the value of which is $75,000 or more, the defendant is charged with a second degree crime. These offenses are punishable by a sentence to serve between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, a fine of up to $150,000, and a felony charge on the defendant’s criminal record.Aggregating Shoplifting Charges
It is important to note that under certain circumstances, the State can choose to aggregate several shoplifting offenses into a single, more serious charge. For example, if a defendant committed three separate shoplifting offenses, each of which involved merchandise valued at $100, the prosecution may group these three offenses into a single charge. What would otherwise constitute three disorderly persons offenses can be aggregated to amount to a single fourth degree indictable crime, which may result in a New Jersey State Prison sentence of up to 18 months.Contact a Monmouth County Shoplifting Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting or another theft crime, contact the Law Offices of Tara Breslow today to discuss your available legal options. Having defended clients accused of these and other crimes in Freehold, Eatontown, and other towns in Monmouth County and surrounding areas of New Jersey, Ms. Breslow is thoroughly prepared to begin building your best defense.