Contact Our Office Across From The Superior Court & A Short Walk From The Jersey City Municipal Court For A Free Consultation With An Experienced Shoplifting Attorney
There is no doubting the fact that Jersey City has the most shoplifting charges in Hudson County every year. The city not only has the most local malls and major retailers in the region but is also the home to the Hudson County Superior Court where every indictable case (i.e. second, third or fourth degree charge) arising in the county must be heard. All of this makes for a hundreds, if not thousands, of shoplifting offenses in Jersey City annually. The attorneys at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, are well aware of this circumstance as members of a criminal defense firm that is located on Newark Avenue across from the county courthouse and only a few blocks from Jersey City Municipal Court.
Do not be fooled into thinking that shoplifting is a minor offense that does not require representation from a skilled attorney. Failure to escape a plea or finding of guilt will leave you with a record for stealing that can effect your ability to secure employment, visit other countries or even maintain your immigration status. There are also significant penalties that are triggered such as the possibility of at least six (6) months in the county jail. Selecting the best lawyer to defend a Jersey City shoplifting offense is therefore a paramount concern for anyone charged with this violation. Our attorneys have over a century in practice, including decades serving as prosecutors, to utilize on your behalf.
For a free consultation with an attorney who has successfully handled countless shoplifting cases, contact our Jersey City Office. Lawyers are available 24/7 to take your call and initial consultations are free.
Jersey City Shoplifting Offense
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 is the New Jersey law directed at the offense of shoplifting. This statute outlines six (6) types of conduct that can result in your being arrested for shoplifting at Newport Centre, Home Depot, Target or another retailer in Jersey City. The offense is committed when someone knowingly:
- Removes merchandise from the premises of the merchant;
- Conceals merchandise;
- Alters or transfers a price tag;
- Switches containers or boxes for the merchandise;
- Participates in an under-ringing scheme; or
- Removes a shopping cart from the merchant’s property.
If an individual engages in one of these forms of conduct, the severity of the Jersey City shoplifting charge is predicated on the value of the merchandise. The headings below outline the important aspects of each grade of shoplifting someone can face under 2C:20-11.
Disorderly Persons Offense for Shoplifting In Jersey City
The least severe shoplifting charge someone can face in Jersey City is a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. This category of shoplifting arises where the value of the merchandise stolen is less than $200. While this grade of shoplifting is a misdemeanor that falls within the jurisdiction of the Jersey City Municipal Court, it nevertheless results in serious consequences if you are convicted. A first offense carries up to 6 months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and community service of at least 10 days. A second offense carries similar penalties except that the community service is enhanced to at least 15 days. When someone is convicted of a third or subsequent disorderly persons offense for shoplifting, they must serve at least 90 days in jail upon conviction.
Fourth Degree Crime for Shoplifting in Jersey City
When someone shoplifts merchandise with a value of at least $200 but less than $500, 2C:20-11 makes the conduct a fourth degree crime. This variety of shoplifting is a felony that can only be adjudicated at the Hudson County Superior Court in Jersey City New Jersey. Fourth degree shoplifting carries up to 18 months in prison, a $10,000 fine and the same period of community service set forth above. In most cases, our Jersey City shoplifting defense lawyers are successful in getting a fourth degree downgraded and remanded to municipal court as a disorderly persons offense. A key to accomplishing this mission is our becoming involved in a case before Central Judicial Processing.
Third Degree Crime for Shoplifting in Jersey City
The broadest category of shoplifting offenses confronted in Jersey City are those falling within the third degree range. The reason for this circumstance stems from the fact that a third degree shoplifting charge is triggered whenever the amount stolen is at least $500 but less than $75,000. This is obviously a wide range and why so many of these types of Jersey City theft cases. A conviction for third degree shoplifting triggers 3-5 years in prison, a fine of up to $15,000 and community service requirements for a first, second or third offense that are consistent with what was previously discussed.
Diversion Programs For Those Charged With Shoplifting
A program known as Conditional Dismissal applies to first time offenders facing a disorderly persons offense for shoplifting in Jersey City Municipal Court. An applicant must complete one year of probation and, upon successful completion, has their charge dismissed without a criminal record or any of the penalties previously set forth. A similar program, Pretrial Intervention, is also available for diversion of indictable shoplifting charges that are pending at the county level in Jersey City. The lawyers on our staff are adept in securing admission into both of these programs.
Jersey City Shoplifting Resulting in Robbery Charges
Another issue that arises is shoplifting cases that turn into a robbery. This transformation occurs when a shoplifter utilizes some type of physical force during the course of committing or fleeing a store after committing or attempting to commit a shoplifting. The risk exposure to a client escalates dramatically when this occurs so it is particularly important that you retain a highly accomplished attorney like those at our firm.
Shoplifting Attorney in Jersey City New Jersey
Whether your arrest took place at Kohl’s, Macy’s, or some other destination in Jersey City, shoplifting can cause significant problems in the future. Hiring the best local attorney to defend your case can provide significant dividends in achieving the most favorable outcome in either Jersey City Municipal Court or at the Hudson County Superior Court. Here at our Jersey City firm, our lawyers have defended thousands of clients charged with shoplifting. If you would like to speak to a lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, call 201-309-0500 for a free consultation.