Paramus Shoplifting Lawyers
A conviction for shoplifting carries the potential for lifelong consequences, including a possible jail sentence, high fines, community service, probation and deportation if applicable. The governing statute in New Jersey for shoplifting is N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. It is important to note here, that if you are not a United States Citizen a shoplifting conviction will almost certainly lead to your deportation. Also, prosecutors are technically not allowed to plea bargain shoplifting cases. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has been representing individuals charged with shoplifting, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, burglary and robbery throughout New Jersey. Some of our credentials outlined below speak for itself:
- Team of ten (10) criminal defense lawyers
- Over two-hundred (200) combined years of criminal law experience
- More than half of our attorneys were former prosecutors, the majority serving as either Assistant County Prosecutors (Superior Court), or Municipal Prosecutors (Municipal Court).
- Three (3) of our attorneys were former Municipal Prosecutors in over twenty-five (25) towns.
- Selected by Super Lawyers to their 2020 New Jersey Rising Stars list, an exclusive list recognizing no more than 2.5% of attorneys in New Jersey.
- Selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 as well as the Top 40 Under 40.
Shoplifting Statute: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11
The State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged defendant either:
- Removed an item from a retail store without purchasing the said item, OR
- Concealed an item on their persons with the intention of stealing it, OR
- Modified a price tag and/or package with the intentions of stealing the item.
Grading of the Offense & Applicable Penalties if Convicted:
The charge of shoplifting can range from a disorderly person offense all the way up to a second degree indictable offense. The level in which you will be charged with depends on the amount of money in question. Listed below is the break down on the grading of the offense.
- Second Degree Shoplifting: More than $75,000.00
- Carries a potential 5-10 years in state prison.
- Third Degree Shoplifting: $500-$75,000.00
- Carries a potential 3-5 years in a state prison.
- Fourth Degree Shoplifting: $200.00-$500.00
- Carries up to 18 months in a state prison.
- Disorderly Persons: Less than $200.00
- Carries up to 6 months in the Bergen County Jail.
It is important to note here, that if any violence is used in committing a shoplifting offense, the prosecution may automatically upgrade the offense to a second degree robbery. A simple push or tug away from a security officer is enough violence under the robbery statute. The actual value of the item attempting to be stolen is irrelevant.
Further, a second conviction for shoplifting carries with it mandatory jail time and a third conviction carries with it a minimum of ninety (90) days in the Bergen County Jail. Also, every conviction, no matter if it is your first or tenth will carry with it fifteen days of community service.
If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting in Bergen County you may be eligible for a diversionary program known as Pre Trial Intervention or conditional dismissal:
- If you or a loved one is charged with an indictable because of shoplifting, they may be eligible for pre-trial intervention, also known as PTI. However, this eligibility is usually contingent on her/his ability to make restitution, as well as their prior criminal record. PTI is a diversionary program in New Jersey which allows individuals who are eligible to bypass the traditional methods of prosecution and be placed on probation. If they complete the probationary term without issue the pending charges will be outright dismissed. The defendant will walk away from this incident without a criminal record.
- If you or a loved one is charge with a disorderly persons offense because of shoplifting, they may be eligible for a conditional dismissal, also known as a CD. However, this eligibility may be contingent, again, on his/her ability to make restitution, as well as their prior criminal record. Conditional dismissal is a diversionary program as well. This too allows people who are eligible to bypass the traditional methods of prosecution and be placed on probation. Although, in order for an individual to enter the conditional dismissal program, they’re required to plead to the charge. Thus, if he/she fails out of the conditional discharge, the case will only be reopened to sentence him/her.
Paramus New Jersey Shoplifting Attorney
As you can see from above, the applicable penalties vary drastically depending on what degree you are charged with. If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting or any other theft offense for that matter in New Jersey it is important to speak to an experience criminal defense attorney immediately as the essential evidence could dissipate quickly; surveillance videos. Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall we have the experience and knowledge necessary to rigorously protect your rights. If you have any further questions, please contact any one of our Bergen County Offices for a free initial consultation at 201-429-9783.