Have you been charged with a theft crime like shoplifting in New Jersey? While many people think that this charge is not very serious, it can lead to mandatory jail time and substantial fines. Additionally, the merchant that you stole from can sue you in civil court to recover damages for the value of what you shoplifted plus a penalty. All of this can mean severe financial repercussions and potentially a loss of your freedom.
Finding an experienced New Jersey shoplifting attorney like Adam M. Lustberg to represent you in court is essential to get you the best results possible for you now and in the future. A skilled lawyer may also be able to help you understand the shoplifting laws in NJ and help you create a solid defense strategy against your case.
Lustberg Law Offices has a team of NJ criminal defense attorneys who may be able to help you protect your rights and your freedom. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
Under New Jersey law, there are several different actions that may qualify as shoplifting. These actions are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, which outlines the various forms of shoplifting that can result in charges and prosecution. There are six distinct acts that can be considered shoplifting in New Jersey, as detailed below. Traditional shoplifting is the most commonly recognized form of shoplifting in New Jersey.
Traditional shoplifting refers to a person who takes possession of merchandise that is displayed, held, stored, or offered for sale by a store or retail establishment, with the intent to deprive the merchant of that merchandise without paying the full retail value.
Another form of shoplifting is when a person purposely conceals merchandise offered for sale by a retail establishment with the intent to steal it. If a person conceals an item, it is presumed that they intended to steal it, making this form of shoplifting particularly difficult to defend against without the assistance of an experienced New Jersey shoplifting defense attorney.
Shoplifting also includes the act of altering, transferring or removing any marking indicia, such as price tags or labels, that help determine merchandise value. If the person’s intention is to buy the merchandise at a fraction of retail value, in order to deprive a merchant of some or all of the value, they may also face shoplifting charges.
Transferring items from one container to another with the intent to deprive the merchant of the retail value is another form of shoplifting that occurs when someone takes merchandise from its original container and puts it into another container that has a lower price.
Shoplifting charges can also be brought against employees of retail establishments who purposely under-ring merchandise at a value lower than what is being offered by the retailer, with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value.
Finally, removing a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail establishment without the merchant’s consent, with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of its use, is also considered a form of shoplifting in New Jersey.
Overall, it’s important to understand the different actions that can be considered shoplifting under New Jersey law, as well as the potential penalties associated with a conviction for shoplifting. An experienced New Jersey shoplifting defense attorney can help build a strong defense to fight these charges and protect your rights.
At Lustberg Law Offices, our team of experienced shoplifting defense lawyers may be able to help you defeat a shoplifting charge. In the state of New Jersey, these crimes are taken seriously which is why it is important to seek the help of a top legal representative. Contact our law office today to schedule a free consultation.
Shoplifting is a crime in New Jersey. If you are caught, you can be taken into custody under the New Jersey Shoplifting Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. The law allows a store to take a suspected shoplifter into custody “in a reasonable way for no more than a reasonable period of time” in order to recover any merchandise. Usually, the store will call the police once it has recovered the property.
Shoplifting is a crime that can lead to incarceration. The length of your sentence and your risk of being convicted will depend on many factors. These include the “full retail price” of the items you are accused of shoplifting. The advertised or stated price of an item in a shop is the full retail value.
The shoplifting charges in New Jersey will be more severe if the item is more costly. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11:
A prosecutor may add the total retail value of each item to determine the level of shoplifting offense if the defendant is accused of stealing multiple items.
If you are facing shoplifting charges in New Jersey, it’s essential to take immediate action and protect your rights. A shoplifting conviction can have severe consequences, including fines, probation, and even jail time, not to mention the long-term impact on your reputation and future opportunities. Don’t face these shoplifting charges alone. Contact a skilled New Jersey shoplifting lawyer who understands the nuances of the law and can develop a strong defense strategy tailored to your specific shoplifting case.
To schedule a free consultation, call our law office at (201) 880-5311.
We have years of experience in courts through NJ and NY and a proven track record of success in criminal cases.
Shoplifting penalties in New Jersey all carry some unpaid community service time. The minimum is 10 days and it increases up to 25 days. If you are convicted of shoplifting three times, the judge is then required to sentence you to 90 days or more in jail. This is separate and apart from any civil liabilities that you may be responsible for. The merchant can file a civil case against you for additional damages.
When a person accused of shoplifting is not a US citizen, there are additional consequences to consider. Immigration status can fall into one of three categories: permanent resident, temporary resident, or no immigration status. The risk for non-citizens is that a shoplifting conviction may lead to removal, deportation, or denial of entry into the country.
Federal immigration law deems shoplifting a crime of moral turpitude, and two convictions for such a crime can render a non-citizen with status removable/deportable. In addition, non-citizens who commit shoplifting crimes of fourth, third, or second degree within five years of entering the country may face deportation.
Additionally, if someone is convicted of a shoplifting crime of fourth, third, or second degree, they may be deemed inadmissible to the United States. It’s worth noting that a conviction for a petty offense under federal immigration law does not apply to this rule.
A shoplifting offense is considered a petty offense if the maximum sentence is less than one year and the actual sentence is less than six months, which is the equivalent of a disorderly person offense.
Immigrants who are facing shoplifting charges in New Jersey should be aware of the immigration consequences that come with a criminal record, such as the possibility of deportation, citizenship denial, and other long-term impacts on themselves and their families. With skilled legal representation, you can protect your rights, minimize the impact on your immigration status, and work towards a brighter future. Call our law office today for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney regarding your shoplifting charge.
It is not common, but there is a possibility that your charges for shoplifting can be dismissed. Your criminal defense lawyer may file a motion to dismiss the case on the basis that the offense was de minimis (under NJSA 2C:2-11), which means that the conduct was too trivial to warrant a trial and did not meet the threshold to justify the charge. Moreover, if the store employees and security personnel do not appear at the hearing, you can ask for a dismissal. Typically, the judge will adjourn the case if they fail to show up initially. However, if they are absent a second time, there is a good chance that your case can be dismissed.
There are several defenses that can be utilized in court when facing charges of shoplifting in New Jersey. One possible defense is to establish that there is reasonable doubt that law enforcement arrested the correct person. This defense may rely on the use of security cameras since it can be challenging to identify someone based on footage alone. Another defense for shoplifting that can be raised is that the shoplifting incident occurred accidentally. For example, you may have forgotten to pay for an item while distracted or in a hurry due to a medical emergency.
To build a solid defense against shoplifting, it’s crucial to be completely honest with your lawyer about what happened and the events that led up to it. If you are facing shoplifting charges in New Jersey, it’s essential to seek the help of an experienced attorney who can guide you through the legal process and prepare a defense for your case. Adam M. Lustberg is a reputable criminal defense lawyer with a history of successfully reducing or dismissing shoplifting charges for his clients. To schedule a consultation, contact our law office today.
PTI is a program available in New Jersey for first-time offenders. This court-run program can lead to the dismissal of your case if you meet all the conditions during a probationary term. One of the program’s significant advantages is that it usually does not require a guilty plea in most shoplifting cases, which means community service is not a mandatory requirement. However, it is essential to note that the PTI probation officer and prosecutor may require community service as a condition of PTI, even if you do not plead guilty.
Moreover, PTI can be an effective way to avoid or lessen immigration consequences for non-citizens. As shoplifting is a crime of moral turpitude, it can result in deportation. But if you complete the PTI program without pleading guilty, the offense cannot be held against you in deportation proceedings.
Furthermore, if you receive PTI without a guilty plea, it will not be considered a prior offense in any subsequent charges for shoplifting. It is important to keep in mind that the penalties for shoplifting tend to increase over time with each offense. To be eligible for PTI, you must be over 18 years old and charged with a third or fourth-degree crime, and you cannot have been in any other diversionary program such as the conditional discharge or Veterans Diversion programs.
PTI is a one to three-year probation program, and upon completion, your charges will be dismissed. You can also have your arrest, charges, and use of a diversionary program expunged from your record six months after dismissal.
In Municipal Court, there is another program called the Conditional Dismissal Program that may be a suitable option for first-time offenders charged with shoplifting. The program is designed to keep disorderly person offenses and petty disorderly person offenses out of the court system by placing convicted offenders on one year of probation. Successful completion of this program leads to the dismissal of shoplifting charges, though the arrest record remains on your record until expunged, which can be done six months after completion of the program.
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When a teenager is caught shoplifting, the consequences can be severe and affect their future. New Jersey’s laws regarding juvenile shoplifting offenses are strict, especially when the court wants to send a message. Juvenile shoplifting charges are handled in a unique process that is different from adult criminal charges. A child under the age of 18 charged with shoplifting will have their case heard in the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county where they reside, regardless of where the offense was committed.
For instance, if the child lives in Jersey City but committed the offense in a different county, the case will be heard in Hudson County Superior Court. During the trial, the judge will decide the case in a bench trial instead of a jury trial as in adult criminal cases. The judge will also focus on “the best interests of the child” when determining the appropriate sentence, unlike typical criminal cases where the focus is on the best interests of society.
Juvenile shoplifters may face a range of consequences, such as detention in a juvenile facility, monetary fines, civil penalties, and compensation to the store owner for the stolen goods. The degree of the offense and the extent of punishment will be determined by the worth of the items taken. Additionally, the minor will be left with a juvenile record, which can have serious long-term consequences and affect future charges. In some cases, the store owner may file a civil lawsuit if the shoplifting caused damage to the store.
An experienced criminal defense lawyer can assist you in assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Your attorney will help you determine if there is a viable defense. Your attorney may file a motion for exclusion if the police have illegally obtained evidence. A judge will decide whether the evidence should be kept in court. Your attorney will be able to assist you with the most effective strategy for you to win. It is crucial to grasp the particulars of your case to make an educated choice regarding how to face it. The attorneys from the Lustberg Law Offices can help you with any legal issues.
If you are facing shoplifting charges in New Jersey, it’s important to take them seriously. Even a seemingly minor offense can have serious legal and personal consequences that can impact your life for years to come. That’s why it’s crucial to have a skilled and experienced shoplifting lawyer on your side.
At Lustberg Law Offices, we understand the complexities of New Jersey’s shoplifting laws and have successfully defended clients facing a range of charges, from petty theft to organized retail theft. Our team will work hard to protect your rights, explore all legal options, and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
In addition to providing a strong legal defense, we also understand the importance of compassion and empathy during what can be a difficult and stressful time. We’ll take the time to listen to your concerns, answer your questions, and guide you through every step of the legal process.
To schedule a free consultation with a skilled New Jersey shoplifting defense attorney, call (201) 880-5311.