Roselle Park NJ Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
Retailers in Roselle Park and the rest of New Jersey consider shoplifting to be a serious problem and utilize sophisticated loss prevention and security to prevent stealing. The laws against shoplifting also reflect an effort to crack down on violators with harsh penalties, including jail and fines, and a permanent criminal record for those convicted of stealing merchandise. If you were arrested and charged with shoplifting in Roselle Park, it certainly is you best interests to enlist a seasoned defense lawyer. Indeed, your freedom may even be at stake if you have a prior history of shoplifting.
The eight criminal attorneys that make up the firm are savvy litigators who have defended countless shoplifting charges in Union County. Several of the lawyers are former prosecutors that have a unique perspective on what it takes to succeed in defending a charge like the one you are facing in Roselle Park Municipal Court or at the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth. It also helps that they possess over century of combined experience between them. To speak to an attorney about the circumstances surrounding your arrest, contact our office at (908) 272-1700 for a free initial consultation.
Charged With Shoplifting in Roselle Park New Jersey
Every shoplifting offense in Roselle Park arises out of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. This law creates a framework for what constitutes shoplifting and how penalties are to be imposed when someone violates this statute. In this regard, an individual commits shoplifting if they:
- To intentionally take, carry away or cause to be carried away merchandise without paying for it;
- To conceal merchandise;
- Alter, remove or transfer price tags of merchandise to reflect a lower value;
- Change the box or container for merchandise in order to deprive the merchant of the true value of the goods;
- Under-ring merchandise at the cash register; or
- Remove a shopping cart from a store’s premises without permission of the owner.
Keep in mind that criminal charges, including shoplifting, are only allegations until they are proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Intent to deprive the store or merchant of the items you are accused of taking is a necessary element of any shoplifting case. If the conduct was inadvertent and lacked the intention to take merchandise without paying or deprive the merchant of its value, any of the aforesaid actions do not violate 2C:20-11. While a presumption that something has been stolen is created when someone engages in the six forms of conduct previously set forth, the prosecutor must prove that your efforts to commit a theft were intention. Our attorneys are aggressive in challenging the prosecution on this point. Our Roselle Park Criminal Lawyers also actively pursue other defenses they identify from reviewing the facts of your case, the evidence available to the prosecution to support the charges and anything else their investigation discloses. And make no mistake about it, statements you made to police or evidence seized from you can be challenged if your constitutional rights were violated.
Grading & Penalties for Shoplifting in Roselle Park
Shoplifting can be charged as an indictable offense, a felony in other states, or a disorderly persons offense, a misdemeanor depending upon the retail value of what was taken. A disorderly persons offense for shoplifting is handled in the Roselle Park Municipal Court whereas a crime of the second degree, third degree or fourth degree must be dealt with at the Union County Courthouse in New Brunswick. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(c), penalties and the degree of the charges are as follows:
- Crime of the Second Degree. It is a second degree crime to shoplift merchandise with a value of $75,000 or more. Penalties include prison terms of five to 10 years and fines up to $100,000.
- Crime of the Third Degree. It is a third degree crime for someone to steal merchandise with a value of at least $500 but less than $75,000. Penalties include prison for up to five years and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Crime of the Fourth Degree. It is a fourth degree crime to shoplifting merchandise having a value of at least $200 but less than $500. The penalties if you are convicted of shoplifting in this grade include up to 18 months in prison and a fine that can reach $10,000.
- Disorderly Persons Offense. This is the equivalent of a misdemeanor and is charged when the value of the merchandise is less than $200. Fines can be as high as $1,000 and jail sentence can be up to 6 months.
In addition to the aforementioned penalties, a third shoplifting conviction triggers a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of at least 90 days. All shoplifting convictions also carry with them an obligation to perform community service; 10 days minimum for a first conviction, 15 days for a second conviction and 25 days for the third or subsequent violation.
Roselle Park NJ Shoplifting Attorney
Long after you complete your shoplifting sentence, a conviction continues to adversely affect your life. This is because you will have a criminal record for stealing that employers conducting a background check can interpret as you being dishonest. Protect your future from such a pitfall by contacting an attorney from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. An aggressive and highly experienced defense lawyer at the firm will fight so that your best interests are well served. To speak to one of our attorneys immediately in a free consultation, call (908) 272-1700. Lawyers are ready to assist you 24/7.