Plainfield NJ Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting Charge in Plainfield New Jersey
Business owners suffer huge financial losses each year due in part to shoplifting. One survey places inventory losses in the U.S. at $50 billion a year, so it’s no wonder that New Jersey laws are tough on people caught shoplifting at retail stores. If you are arrested by police in Plainfield NJ and charged with shoplifting, you could be sentenced to serve time in jail or prison in addition to being ordered to pay substantial fines. Your troubles do not end when you’ve completed your sentence because the conviction stays on your record. Retaining a skilled lawyer is your best bet in combating the potential consequences.
The team of criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall includes former prosecutors who devote their practices exclusively to passionately defending people arrested and/or charged with violating the law. Our attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience defending clients at the Union County Superior Court (i.e. second degree, third degree or fourth degree crime for shoplifting) and Plainfield Municipal Court (i.e. disorderly persons offense for shoplifting) to put to work on your behalf. A defense lawyer is available whenever you need by calling (908) 272-1700. An attorney will provide a thorough consultation free of charge and provide you with a plan for securing the best outcome in your Plainfield shoplifting case.
Shoplifting Charges in Plainfield NJ
Prosecutors must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime of shoplifting. You cannot be convicted unless the state presents evidence establishing you did one of the following acts in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11:
- Intentionally took, carried away or caused to be carried away merchandise without paying;
- Concealed merchandise without paying for it with the intention of depriving the merchant;
- Altered, removed or transferred labels and price tags on merchandise to reflect a lower value;
- Change the box or packaging of the merchandise to misrepresent its value;
- Under-ringing at the cash register; or
- Removing a shopping cart from a store’s premises.
The charges filed by the state are merely allegations without evidence to support them. Our Plainfield NJ shoplifting defense attorneys are aggressive in their use of legal defenses to challenge the admissibility and sufficiency of the evidence gathered by police and prosecutors. We have a proven record of success winning favorable outcomes for people charged with shoplifting, including cases in which the accused gave incriminating statements to the police in violation of their constitutional rights.
Penalties for Shoplifting in Plainfield New Jersey
The severity of a Plainfield NJ shoplifting charge and the penalties associated with a conviction depend on the retail value of the merchandise claimed to have been taken. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(c), the grade and penalty for shoplifting are as follows:
- Property valued at $75,000 or more: A second degree indictable offense for which a person can be sent to state prison for a minimum of five years up to a maximum of 10 years and fined up to $100,000.
- Property valued in excess of $500, but less than $75,000: A third degree indictable offense punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and fines up to $15,000.
- Property valued at least at $200, but not in excess of $500: Indictable crime of the fourth degree punishable by imprisonment for up to 18 months and fines up to $10,000.
- Property valued at less than $200: Disorderly persons offense punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail in Plainfield Municipal Court.
All shoplifting offenses include at least 10 days of community service as part of the sentence for a first conviction, 15 days for a second conviction and 25 days for the third and any subsequent convictions. Bear in mind that even after your sentence is completed, you will have a criminal record because an indictable offense under New Jersey law is the equivalent of a felony in other states, and a disorderly persons offense is the equivalent of a misdemeanor.
Two programs can help you avoid prosecution for shoplifting. Conditional Dismissal is the program for a disorderly persons offense for shoplifting and Pretrial Intervention applies to a second degree, third degree or fourth degree crime for shoplifting.
Plainfield NJ Shoplifting Defense Attorney
A criminal record for shoplifting in Plainfield or anywhere else will show up anytime an employer or an agency to which you applied for a professional license runs a background check. Some employers consider a person with a shoplifting conviction to be untrustworthy and dishonest and will not offer a job. The criminal lawyers at the Marshall Law Firm know what it takes to aggressively fight and defend against shoplifting charges. We have been defending shoplifting in Plainfield Municipal Court and other venues for decades and our attorneys certainly know their way around the justice system in Union County. To speak to a defense attorney on our staff immediately, call 908-272-1700. A lawyer with the knowledge and skill to help you avoid a conviction (i.e. obtain dismissal or downgrade) anytime 24/7.