Irrespective of whether you have been charged as an adult or a juvenile, the offense of shoplifting can be either a second, third, fourth degree felony or a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). As you will see below, the degree of shoplifting one is charged with will dictate the potential penalties that you will be subject too. If you or your child has been charged with a criminal offense like shoplifting, aggravated assault, marijuana possession, simple assault, criminal mischief or disorderly conduct in Morris County, it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney who specializes in juvenile criminal defense. Although the statutes are the same, the underline workings of the juvenile criminal justice system is completely different then that of the adult criminal justice system. For starters, the main objective of the juvenile criminal justice system is to rehabilitate rather then punish. However, if the offense is egregious enough or if the juvenile has a prior history, the courts will not hesitate to impose a custodial (prison) sentence.
The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has eight juvenile criminal defense lawyers on staff, making our office one of the largest criminal defense firms in the State let alone Morris County. Our office has been representing juveniles charged with various criminal offenses in towns like Madison, Rockaway, Dover, Parsippany, Chatham, Mendham, Butler, Boonton, Riverdale and Morristown for over a decade. If you would like to come into our office and discuss your options with any one of our attorneys, please contact our office at 973.309.7050. Our attorneys are available around the clock to help assist in any way possible. Now here is some key information on the offense of shoplifting.
Juvenile Shoplifting Defense Lawyers in Madison NJ
The governing statute in New Jersey for shoplifting is N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(b), which states in pertinent part,
b. Shoplifting shall consist of any one or more of the following acts:
(1) For any person purposely to take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.
(2) For any person purposely to conceal upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof.
(3) For any person purposely to alter, transfer or remove any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value thereof.
As you can tell from reading the statute there are various different types of conduct that may constitute a violation of this statute. With that being said, this is where a skilled criminal defense lawyer can create crafty defenses on your behalf in an effort to beat the charges.
On a different note, if ANY force whatsoever is used during the commission of the offense, your standard shoplifting charge will automatically escalate into a robbery charge. Which drastically increases your chances of being incarcerated if convicted.
What are the Penalties for Juvenile Shoplifters in NJ?
As touched upon above, the offense of shoplifting can be either a second, third, fourth degree felony or even a disorderly persons (misdemeanor) offense. The value of the items in question will control in determining what degree of shoplifting the juvenile will be charged with. In addition, the degree of shoplifting will dictate what the potential penalties are if convicted. Here is a complete breakdown.
- 2nd Degree Shoplifting Offense: Value of the items are greater than $75,000
- Juvenile is facing up too three (3) years in Jamesburg (Juvenile Prison)
- 3rd Degree Shoplifting Offense: Value of the items are greater than $500 but less than $75,000
- Juvenile is facing up too two (2) years in Jamesburg (Juvenile Prison)
- 4th Degree Shoplifting Offense: Value of the items are greater than $200 but less than $500
- Juvenile is facing up too one (1) years in Jamesburg (Juvenile Prison)
- Disorderly Persons Offense Shoplifting: Value of the items is greater than $.01 but less than $200
- Juvenile is facing up too six (6) months in a Juvenile Detention Center
Juvenile Shoplifting Attorneys in Rockaway NJ
As you can tell from reading above, the offense of shoplifting has some very severe penalties, even for juveniles. If convicted, not only could your child be incarcerated but they could also be scared with a criminal record, placed on probation, issued community services and fined as well. A conviction for shoplifting can also hinder one’s ability get into their dream college or obtain a meaningful job. If you or your child has been charged with shoplifting in towns like Harding, Long Hill, Denville, Roxbury, Mount Olive or Jefferson, we can help. Please contact our Morristown office at 973.309.7050 and schedule an appointment today.