Serving the Elizabeth NJ Superior Court & All Municipal Courts in Union County

Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Over 100 Year of Combined Experience

Former County & Municipal Prosecutors



Shoplifting – N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11

Westfield NJ NJ Shoplifting Attorney

Union County has busy retail destinations like Kohl’s, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and the Mills at Jersey Gardens, that attract incidents of shoplifting. If you were arrested and charged with shoplifting in Elizabeth, Cranford, Westfield, Roselle Park, Union Township or another area municipality, you need to take this charge seriously. A conviction for retail theft not only results in a record that employers, licensing boards, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and others will see in the future but also serious penalties that include the possibility of jail/prison. It is fundamentally important for you to secure the advice of a criminal attorney who is knowledgeable in shoplifting defense so that you are aware of what you are up against. The lawyers in the Union NJ Office of Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver possess the attributes that you need to fully assess your options. We are former prosecutors and a team of defense attorneys with over a century of experience defending shoplifting charges at both the Superior Court and in municipalities in Union County. To speak to a lawyer on our staff, call us at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation.

Charged With Shoplifting In Union County

The New Jersey Shoplifting Law is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. This law sets forth six (6) prohibited types of conduct which constitute “shoplifting”. The circumstances constituting a violation include:

  1. Carry away or transferring property with the intention of depriving the retail establishment of its value;
  2. Concealing property to deprive the retailer of its value;
  3. Altering price tags and/or labels for purposes of depriving the merchant of the true value of the property;
  4. Transferring merchandise from its original container to another for purposes of depriving the merchant of the value of the property;
  5. Under-ringing of merchandise in order to deprive the retail establishment of the full value of the property; and
  6. Removing a shopping cart from an establishment with the intention of permanently depriving the retailer of the cart.

Grading of Shoplifting Charges in Union County

If you were arrested for shoplifting, the penalties to which you are exposed depend on the gradation of the offense charged. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, it is a second degree crime to shoplift something with a value of $75,000 or more, a third degree offense to shoplift merchandise with a value of at least $500 but less than $75,000, and a fourth degree charge to steal property with a value of $200 to $500. A theft involving merchandise of a value of $200 or less is a disorderly persons offense.

Penalties for Shoplifting that May Be Imposed by a Judge in Municipal or Superior Court

A penalty mandated by the shoplifting law is community service.  The community service obligation upon conviction for a first offense of shoplifting is 10 days. The community service requirement escalates to 15 days for a second offense and up to 25 days for a third or subsequent offense.  In terms of jail, there is a mandatory period of incarceration of 3 months for a third conviction of a disorderly persons grade of shoplifting. The jail sentences for Second Degree, Third Degree, and Fourth Degree shoplifting follow the standard guidelines; zero to 18 months for a Fourth Degree; zero to 5 years for a Third Degree; and 5 to 10 years of jail for a second degree.

Union NJ Shoplifting Defense Lawyers

Our eight criminal defense lawyers have handled hundreds of shoplifting offenses in Union County and municipal court venues like Springfield, Kenilworth, Linden, Scotch Plains and Roselle. This has allowed them to hone their strategies and tactics in defending those charged with shoplifting. It has also fostered familiarity with the court system that allows our attorneys to navigate proceedings as effectively as possible. An attorney at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver is ready to address your questions and concerns immediately at 908-272-1700.

Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver, 2204 Morris Avenue, Suite 310, Union New Jersey 07083, is ready to defend your shoplifting offense in the municipal court of Clark, Cranford, Elizabeth, Kenilworth, Roselle, Roselle Park, Linden, Rahway, Summit, Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Berkeley Heights, Fanwood, Westfield, Springfield, Union, Hillside, Garwood, Plainfield and New Providence, and the Superior Court of Union County, 2 Broad Street, New Jersey 07201.