The law in NJ imposes not only criminal penalties for shoplifting but also provides for civil assessments for those who shoplift. These penalties are typically limited in nature but can have significant ancillary consequences if simply paid without careful consideration (e.g. admission of guilt with respect to a related criminal charge). If you were arrested for shoplifting and have received a notice of civil penalty from the store, give us a call immediately before you make a potentially damaging decision on your own. An attorney from our office will review the facts of your case and provide you with sound advice as to your best move. You should not worry about money in picking up the telephone as initial consultations with our lawyers are always without charge. You can reach one of our attorneys any time 24/7 at 1-877-450-8301.
New Jersey Shoplifting Civil Penalty Law
The State of NJ has adopted a law that allows victims of shoplifting (e.g. store owners) to impose civil penalties on those who shoplift from them. The law is contained at N.J.S.A. 2A:61C-1 and allows a civil penalty up to $150.00 to be assessed against individuals who steal from a merchant. The victim is also entitled to recover for damage or loss of property, not to exceed $500.00. These civil penalties extend to the parents of a child who commits a shoplifting offense.
An important consideration with respect to civil penalties is the fact that a merchant is entitled to recovery of his or her reasonable attorneys’ fees in securing the civil relief provided under N.J.S.A. 2A:61C-1. Recovery of attorneys fees is, however, conditioned upon two facts: (1) the defendant has been convicted of shoplifting; and (2) the defendant was served with a demand for payment and failed to respond or rejected the demand within 20 days of notification.
If a demand to pay a civil assessment has been served upon you based on allegations that you were shoplifting, give our law firm a call and speak to an attorney. You certainly do not want to do anything that will compromise your defense to any criminal charges and the advice of a lawyer experienced in NJ shoplifting can insure that this does not happen. An attorney from our law office would be happy to assist you immediately at 1-877-450-8301.