Shoplifting is a harmless offense is the perception that most people have, but, if you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting in Morris County and are reading this page, you may no longer have that opinion. Shoplifting is housed under N.J.S.A 2C:20-11 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. The statute lists six different types of actions that can lead to a charge of shoplifting and as you will see below, the offense of shoplifting can be either a second, third or fourth degree felony or a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) depending on the facts of the case. If you or someone you know has been charged with shoplifting in Morris County, New Jersey it towns like Rockaway, Morristown, Madison, Mount Olive, Mendham, Parsippany, Dover or Roxbury, the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall can help. Our office has been defending individuals charged with various criminal offenses, including shoplifting, theft of moveable property, theft by deception, burglary, armed robbery and receiving stolen property in Morris County for over a decade. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of our eight Rockaway shoplifting defense lawyers, please contact our Morristown office at 973-309-7050. Now here is some key information on the offense of shoplifting in New Jersey.
Shoplifting Attorneys in Rockaway NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(b)
Shoplifting shall consist of any one or more of the following acts:
- For any person to purposely to take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise offered for sale by any store or establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession of such merchandise without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.
- For any person to purposely conceal upon their person any merchandise offered for sale by any store with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession of such merchandise without paying the merchant full retail value.
- For any person purposely to alter, transfer or remove any label, price tag or marking indicia of value which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise offered for sale by a store and to attempt to purchase such merchandise at less than the full retail value.
- For any person purposely to transfer merchandise from its original container to any other container with the intent to deprive the merchant of the full retail value.
- For any person purposely to under-ring with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value.
- For any person purposely to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store without the consent of the merchant with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the use of such cart.
For any of these actions to lead to a conviction, though, the action must have been done purposely, not by accident. With that said the statute creates a series of presumptions that allow the state to prove that the act of concealment itself satisfies the requisite state of mind for shoplifting.
Will I go to Jail for Shoplifting in New Jersey?
The gradation of the offense is related to the value of the property that is taken. A disorderly persons offense applies to anything under $200. A fourth degree felony occurs for anything between $200 and $500. Anything over $500, but less than $75,000 is a third degree felony offense. Lastly, a second degree offense occurs for a taking in excess of $75,000. Therefore, for any taking over $200 you are facing the potential of lengthy periods of incarceration. A fourth degree crime can lead to a period of incarceration for up to 18 months. A third degree crime can lead to a period of incarceration for between 3 and 5 years. Finally, a second degree crime can lead to a period of incarceration for a period of between 5 and 10 years.
In addition to whatever sentence is imposed, it is also mandatory for shoplifting crimes that the offender be sentenced to a period of community service. For a first offense, the period is at least ten days. For a second offense it is a period of at least fifteen days. For third and subsequent offenses, this period is a maximum of 25 days of community service, however, the person must serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days even if the property stolen has little value.
Shoplifting Lawyers Madison NJ
Regardless, however, of the value of the property or the gradation of the offense, your best hope of beating these charges is no secret. Your best hope is to attain the best representation possible. Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges, including shoplifting, in Morris County. Our team of 8 attorneys even consists of former prosecutors who know the ins and outs of the shoplifting offense and, thus, will know how best to attack the state’s case against you. So please, if you or a loved one has been charged with this crime in Morris County, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your case.