7 time Shoplifter avoids Mandatory Jail Sentence in Bergen County
Keith G. Oliver, one of the associates in my office, just finished representing an individual on his seventh arrest for violating N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11b, shoplifting. The defendant was arrested and charged with shoplifting from Nordstrom’s in Bergen County. He was originally arrested and charged with fourth degree shoplifting since the items in which he is alleged to have taken totaled over $200 but less than $500. However, Mr. Oliver was able to have this matter remanded back to the municipal court and be treated as a disorderly persons offense rather than a fourth degree felony. The major significance of this is the fact that the defendant is now only facing up to 180 days in the Bergen County Jail instead of 18 months in the New Jersey State Prison. Further the likelihood of being sentenced to jail on a disorderly persons offense is much less when compared to a felony offense. However, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11c(4), “for a third or subsequent offense, a maximum of 25 days of community service and any person convicted of a third or subsequent shoplifting offense shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days”. Therefore, if convicted, the defendant would need to be imprisoned for at least 90 days.
Through countless negotiations, Mr. Oliver was able to poke enough holes in the States case to get them to agree to amend the charge from shoplifting to a theft of moveable property. The importance behind this move is that it now took the defendant out of the mandatory minimum of 90 days in the Bergen County Jail since this was no longer a “shoplifting” offense. However, since this is a disorderly persons offense, he was still facing up to 180 days in the Bergen County Jail. At sentencing, Mr. Oliver was able to convince the Judge to sentence the defendant to a non-custodial sentence. Therefore, the defendant, who has been arrested for shoplifting in New Jersey seven times, walked away from this most recent offense without having to serve a single day in jail.
The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is an experienced Bergen County Criminal Defense Firm. We have the experience, knowledge and skill set necessary to protect your rights. If you or someone you know has been charged with shoplifting in New Jersey we can help. Please feel free to contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation with any one of our eight criminal defense attorneys on staff.