Camden County Shoplifting Defense Lawyers
Not so long ago, shoplifting was regarded as a disorderly persons offense regardless of what was taken from the store in question. This changed in 2000 when the state made dramatic changes to the New Jersey shoplifting law in an effort to crack down on this offense. The potential penalties for shoplifting in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 were increased significantly with the creation of a second-degree, third-degree, and fourth-degree crime. Grading and associated penalties for this violation are predicated on the value of the property stolen. A disorderly persons offense for shoplifting, which falls under municipal court jurisdiction, is limited to shoplifting of property with a value of less than $200. Cases involving items with a value above this threshold rests must be sent to the Camden County Superior Court since they involve indictable offenses (i.e. felony cases).
Whether you have been charged with an indictable crime or disorderly persons offense for shoplifting, you will want to hire the very best attorney you can find since a conviction will leave you with a criminal record for stealing. Our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, has precisely what you are need with:
- Over 200 years of combined experience defending shoplifting and other theft-related charges in Camden County
- A team of 10 lawyers that specialize exclusively in criminal defense
- Former county and municipal prosecutors that have served at the highest levels
- Certified criminal trial attorneys
- A long history of helping clients arrested for shoplifting in Cherry Hill, Voorhees, Cherry Hill, Marlton, Berlin, Pennsauken, Moorestown, Deptford, Mount Laurel, Blackwood, Gloucester Township and elsewhere in the county
If you or a loved one is facing a shoplifting offense and would like the advice of a highly accomplished shoplifting defense lawyer, please do not hesitate to contact us. Attorneys on our staff are available for free consultations 24/7 at 856-662-8300.
Shoplifting Offense Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11
A New Jersey shoplifting charge can arise as the result of one of six types of conduct. The first and most obvious form of shoplifting occurs where there is “purposeful taking away of merchandise”. This embodies the classic scenario of someone removing goods from a store so that they may be utilized in some way for the benefit of the accused. Some less obvious forms of conduct that constitute shoplifting include concealing merchandise, altering or transferring a price tag (e.g. swapping the price tag so that the cost appears less), changing the container (e.g. put the merchandise in another container with the intent to deprive the owner of full value), and purposeful under-ringing of merchandise (i.e. the person has the merchandise rung up for less than its worth). You will note that, unlike the first type of shoplifting, none of these secondary pedigrees require removal of merchandise from the store to result in a violation; engaging in the prohibited conduct suffices.
You should also know that state law allows someone to be charged with being a part of an “organized retail theft enterprise”. This means that you are involved in an association of two or more persons who are associated for the purposes of transferring shoplifted merchandise. This crime, like a regular shoplifting crime, is dependent upon the value of the property that is stolen. Furthermore, there could be an additional charge for being a leader of this retail theft enterprise, a crime of the second degree. Importantly, this charge does not merge with any of the other charges that may be brought against you, so you could be found to be guilty of shoplifting, being a member of an organized retail theft enterprise, and the leader of that enterprise separately.
Grading & Penalties for Shoplifting in Camden County
The gradation of shoplifting charges is, as stated above, dependent upon the value of the merchandise that is stolen. It is a disorderly person offense when the full retail value of the property that is stolen is less than $200. It is a crime of the fourth degree to steal property with a value of at least $200 but less than $500. It is a crime of the third degree when the full retail value of the property is at least $500 but is less than $75,000. It is a crime of the second degree to shoplift property that has a value of $75,000 or more. The goal of a skilled Camden county shoplifting defense attorney is to obtain either a dismissal or downgrade of a charge so that an accused shoplifter avoids a criminal record for theft, as well as penalties such as jail. You should know that accomplishing this objective isn’t a forgone conclusion since Attorney General Guidelines prohibiting downgrading of shoplifting charges in certain instances, for example, if the value of the property taken is in excess of $2000. Selecting an accomplished 2c:20-11 lawyer is extremely important if you have been arrested for shoplifting and want to avoid penalties such as:
- Second Degree Shoplifting carries a prison term of 5-10 years and a fine of up to $150,000
- Third Degree Shoplifting results in up to 5 years in prison and a $15,000
- Fourth Degree Shoplifting triggers penalties such as 18 months in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000
- Disorderly Persons Offense for Shoplifting is a misdemeanor but still results in up to 6 months in the Camden County Jail and a fine that can reach $1,000
You should also know that a first offense for shoplifting carries ten days of mandatory community service. For a second offense, the amount of community service may not be less than 15 days. For a third or subsequent offense, there must be a maximum of 25 days of community service and not less than 90 days imprisonment.
Contact Our Shoplifting Attorneys To Get The Help You Need
A shoplifting offense obviously has the potential to severely impact an individual’s life. You not only face the stigma of a conviction for stealing, something that can destroy your ability to obtain employment, but also the real possibility of incarceration. You cannot attempt to tackle a Camden shoplifting charge involving these types of stakes without the benefit of a knowledgeable defense lawyer at your side. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are ready to put their decades of experience into action so that you escape the pitfalls of a shoplifting conviction in Cherry Hill, Marlton, Voorhees, Moorestown, Deptford or anywhere else in the county. So if you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting in Camden County, please do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney. You can call 856-662-8300 and one of our lawyers will be happy to assist you.
Major Shopping Locations in Camden County New Jersey
Cherry Hill Mall
2000 Route 38
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Gloucester Premium Outlets
100 Premium Outlet Drive
Blackwood, NJ 08012
Voorhees Town Center
2120 Voorhees Town Center Drive
Voorhees, NJ 08043
4000 West Route 38
Moorestown, NJ 08057
1750 Deptford Center Rd
Deptford, NJ 08096
Berlin Farmer’s Market & Shopping Center
41 Clementon Rd
Berlin, NJ 08009
The Promenade at Sagemore
500 Route 73 South
Marlton, NJ 08053