Contact Our Former Prosecutors & Highly Skilled Defense Lawyers If You Have Been Charged With Shoplifting In North Bergen New Jersey
North Bergen definitely would not be a municipality that jumps to mind as a hotbed for shoplifting charges unless you were an attorney who handles a large number of Hudson County shoplifting offenses like those at our firm. The truth is, however, that the town historically ranks near the top of the statistics for individuals arrested for shoplifting. If you had a lapse in judgement that resulted in your being charged with shoplifting in North Bergen, you need to take the time to find the best lawyer you can find to defend your case. The reason is because a guilty finding will result in a criminal record for theft that will follow you around for years to come and there are also stiff penalties that will be imposed by the court, including the possibility of a significant jail sentence.
The attorneys at our local firm will make sure that you have every opportunity to escape a conviction for a North Bergen NJ disorderly persons offense or indictable crime (i.e. second degree, third degree or fourth degree) for shoplifting. We have over 150 years of combined experience defending shoplifting charges and most of the ten (10) defense lawyers on our team are former prosecutors who have been in practice for over 15 years. To speak to a North Bergen shoplifting defense lawyer immediately about the circumstances of your arrest, call 201-309-0500.
North Bergen Shoplifting Offense: Frequently Asked Questions
The law which dictates guilt or innocence for shoplifting is N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. This offense applies where an individual engages in conduct that falls under one of six categories set forth in subsection (b) of 2C:20-11. In this regard, you can be convicted of shoplifting in North Bergen if it is found, beyond reasonable doubt, that you knowingly attempted to deprive the merchant of the value of his/her goods by:
- Removing merchandise from the store;
- Concealing merchandise;
- Swapping or altering price tags;
- Changing boxes or containers;
- Under-ringing merchandise; or
- Removing a shopping cart from the merchant’s property.
Where Will My North Bergen Shoplifting Charge Be Heard?
Where your case will be heard depends on the grade of shoplifting offense that you are facing. A second, third or fourth degree crime for shoplifting in North Bergen is indictable and can only be heard at the Hudson County Superior Court. If you are facing a felony charge falling within this category, your initial appearance will be conducted at Central Judicial Processing on Newark Avenue in Jersey City. A disorderly persons offense for shoplifting is a misdemeanor which is heard in North Bergen Municipal Court.
What Are the Penalties For Shoplifting In North Bergen?
The penalties for shoplifting escalate with the value of the property stolen from a retailer. It is a disorderly persons offense to shoplift merchandise with a value of less than $200. Shoplifting clothes, electronics, hardware or other goods that have a value of at least $200 but less than $500 is a fourth degree crime. A crime of the third degree is triggered when the value of merchandise is at least $500 but less than $75,000. Thefts involving property of $75,000 or more result in a second degree crime. The chart below outlines the penalties that apply to each grade of North Bergen shoplifting offense someone can face.
Grade of Offense
Fines & Assessments
|Disorderly Persons Offense||Up to $1,000 Fine|
$33 Court Costs
|Up to 6 Months in Jail|
|Fourth Degree Crime||Up to $10,000 Fine|
$33 Court Costs
|Up to 18 Months in Prison|
|Third Degree Crime||Up to $15,000 Fine|
$33 Court Costs
|Up to 5 Years in Prison|
|Second Degree Crime||Up to $150,000 Fine|
$33 Court Costs
|5-10 Years in Prison|
Can I Avoid A Criminal Record If This Is My First Shoplifting Offense?
The best way to avoid a conviction is to successfully attack the charge directly. This may be accomplished by raising reasonable doubt concerning a necessary element of shoplifting or by catching the state on a technicality. Our lawyers can pursue relief through Conditional Dismissal or Pretrial Intervention when an outright acquittal is not viable. Both of these programs are diversionary in nature and allow for dismissal or your North Bergen NJ shoplifting upon successful completion of a period of probation.
Will My Immigration Status Be Impacted If I Lose My North Bergen Shoplifting Case?
The stakes in a North Bergen shoplifting case are significantly higher when the defendant lacks United States citizenship. The reason is because shoplifting is considered a crime involving moral turpitude and a conviction can result in loss of status or even deportation. If you are not a citizen and have been arrested for shoplifting in North Bergen, you definitely need to retain a skilled defense attorney.
Shoplifting Defense Lawyers in North Bergen NJ
We understand your concern after being charged with stealing at Old Navy, the Gap Outlet or another North Bergen shopping destination. The process of being arrested is certainly disheartening and the aftermath that follows can be extremely intimidating. The defense lawyers at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, are here to address all of your concerns and to formulate a plan for you to avoid a guilty finding in North Bergen Municipal Court or at the county courthouse in the event that your offense is indictable in nature. To learn how we can assist you in defending your case, call 201-309-0500 to speak to an attorney immediately. Initial consultations with our attorneys are always without a fee so do not hesitate to contact us.