Clients are often shocked to hear that they could face up to six months in County Jail for just for Shoplifting a small article of clothing. However, with recent legislation, New Jersey has made a point of punishing shoplifters to the full extent of the law. At a minimum, Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense (i.e. misdemeanor), carrying up to six (6) months in Jail, a $1,000 and a permanent criminal record (along with the stigma this could carry). However, depending on the value of the items involved, you could be facing a Second Degree Shoplifting charge. If you or someone in your family has been detained by a store and arrested by the police for Shoplifting, then it is imperative that you take every precaution to protect your rights and interests. Legal representation could mean the difference between a conviction and a dismissal, depending on the facts of your case. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a Criminal Defense Firm that specializes in County and Municipal Court practice. Our attorneys are comprised of former County and Municipal Prosecutors who understand the techniques used by the municipal courts of Atlantic City, Galloway, Hamilton, Egg Harbor Township, Pleasantville, and Brigantine, and how best to negotiate with the Prosecutor. Our firm has a track record of obtaining downgrades and even dismissals of our clients’ Shoplifting charges on multiple occasions. To speak with an experience Atlantic County Criminal Lawyer, contact our Atlantic County Office at (877)450-8301 today. Our representatives are available 7 days a week and will provide you with a free consultation free of charge.
Types of Shoplifting Hammonton NJ
Part of New Jersey’s Shoplifting legislation is the enumeration of six types of conduct that qualifies as Shoplifting. Specifically now, what is regarded as Shoplifting consists of six types of conduct. The most common amongst these “six types of conduct” is the “purposeful taking away of merchandise.” This is probably the first thing that comes to minds when people think of Shoplifting. Another more common form of Shoplifting in Atlantic County involves purposeful altering or transferring of a price tag (i.e. you change, alter, or remove the price tag). The other Some less obvious ones are “taking away of a shopping cart from the premises of the shop without the permission of the owner”, “concealment of merchandise” (the law allows for the presumption that if you conceal merchandise that you intend not to pay), “purposeful transfer to another container”, and “purposeful under-ringing of merchandise” (here the defendant is an employee of the “victim” company). Regardless which of these six (6) types of conduct you are in violation of, the charge of Shoplifting will be the same. The only thing that will affect the severity of your charges is the value of the items you attempted to steal.
Fourth Degree Shoplifting Charges
As previously mentioned, Shoplifting charges vary in degree depending on the value of goods involved. Where the goods were valued at any price under $200, you will be charged with a disorderly persons offense for Shoplifting. Where the goods have a value between $200 and $500, you will be charged with Fourth Degree Shoplifting which is an indictable offense. When the full retail value of the property that is stolen exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000.00, your charges will be in the Third Degree (also an indictable offense). Lastly, and most importantly, is where the property has value an in excess of $75,000.00, the charges will be in the Second Degree. Typically, these offenses can be downgraded so as to not expose a shoplifter to extended jail sentences, however, Attorney General’s guidelines prohibit the downgrading of a second-degree offense and also prohibit the downgrading of a third-degree offense if the value of the property taken is in excess of $2,000.
Third Shoplifting Offense Mandatory Jail
While the first offense for a disorderly persons shoplifting will not typically result in prison, the possibility still exists. However, for repeat offenders, it eventually becomes mandatory. This means that regardless of your hardships or status in life, a third or subsequent Shoplifting offense carries mandatory incarceration. Plea negotiation of these charges will not be permitted. Furthermore, no matter what number offense this is for you, you will always be subject to mandatory community service. A first offense comes with ten (10) days of mandatory community service. For a second offense, the amount of community service may not be less than fifteen (15) days. For a third or subsequent offense, there must be a maximum of twenty-five (25) days of community service and not less than ninety (90) days imprisonment.
This is in addition to the judge’s discretion to sentence you to any of the statutorily prescribed penalties for the charges. A second-degree Shoplifting conviction carries ten (10) years in while a third-degree Shoplifting charge carries up to five (5) years and a fourth-degree Shoplifting charge carries up to eighteen (18) of jail-time.
As clearly demonstrated, it is not in your best interest to face these charges alone. The stress and anxiety that comes along with these charges are enough to handle, not to mention to an impractical notion of mounting your own defense. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can assist you and your criminal charges as we have done for thousands of other clients. Our firm is equipped to handle your theft or Shoplifting charges in Atlantic County. If you or someone in your family has been arrested and charged with Shoplifting in Somers Point, Northfield, Mullica, Margate City, Hammonton, or Egg Harbor City, our firm can help.