In order to prove a case of shoplifting, the state must demonstrate that certain proscribed misconduct was committed by an accused. Where the prosecutor fails to establish a prohibited instance of “shoplifting”, a finding of not guilty and/or dismissal is appropriate. The New Jersey Shoplifting Lawyers at our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, know how to defend a case in a manner to provide our clients with the best opportunity to avoid conviction. One of our attorneys is available to explain exactly how we would go about achieving this outcome in your matter. You can reach a lawyer 24/7 for this purpose at 1-877-450-8301 and receive a free consultation.
Conduct Necessary to Establish Shoplifting
There are basically five varieties of shoplifting defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. In this regard, an individual may be charged with shoplifting with respect to:
- Purposely Taking Merchandise. The first prohibited act deals with a person who purposely takes merchandise from a store. The defendant must do this with the intent of depriving the owner of the merchandise of its benefit (i.e. value) without paying for it.
- Concealment. The shoplifting statute is also intended to address a person purposely concealing merchandise offered for sale by a merchant. “Conceal” means to obscure an object such that it is not visible through ordinary observation. The concealment must be undertaken with the intent to consummate a theft. Intent is presumed where an individual conceals merchandise yet to be paid for. This presumption may be rebutted through presentation of evidence manifesting innocence.
- Altering or Transferring a Price Tag. Shoplifting may also be established where an individual alters, transfers or removes a label or price tag. This conduct must be undertaken with the intention of depriving the merchant of the true value or consideration intended to be paid for the merchandise.
- Transferring Merchandise to Another Container. A person also commits shoplifting where he purposely transfers merchandise into a container with intent to commit a theft of the merchandise.
- Under–Ringing of Merchandise. Under-ring means to cause the sale to reflect less than the full retail value of the merchandise. The state must prove that the under-ring was purposely done. The preparation of fraudulent refund receipts is not encompassed within the offense of under-ringing sales receipts. The offense is directed to merchandise leaving the store and not merchandise being returned to the store.
A lawyer from our defense firm would be happy to discuss the particular facts associated with the shoplifting case to which you have been charged. Please do not hesitate to contact us immediately as an attorney is available to speak to you 24/7 at 1-877-450-8301.