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Scotch Plains NJ Shoplifting Attorney

Shoplifting Charge in Scotch Plains New Jersey

Scotch Plains Township has plenty of retail stores where shoplifting can occur.  While you may think shoplifting is a minor offense, and you will only get a proverbial “slap on the wrist” if you are caught, that is not quite the case. Depending on the amount shoplifted, the criminal penalties can be rather steep. Accordingly, it is recommended that you consult with an experienced shoplifting attorney to determine what your options are, and what might result if you were charged with shoplifting. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are highly experienced to give you important legal advice and use their extensive background in defending shoplifting cases to minimize any criminal penalties that might be imposed. Initial consultations with our lawyers are free so it cannot hurt to call a Marshall Firm to learn what your legal options are. Call 908-272-1700 to speak to a lawyer anytime 24/7.

Scotch Plains Shoplifting Offense

A Scotch Plains shoplifting offense can occur in one of six ways in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11.  First, a person can take something out of a store without paying for it and having no intention to pay for it. Second, a person can take something off of a shelf and hide it in clothing, a jacket, a bag, or some other way to conceal that he/she has the item. (If someone is caught hiding an item, the law presumes that the person intended on taking it without paying.) Third, a person can change a price tag so it appears cheaper than its actual price. Fourth, a person can change the packaging of an item to make it appear cheaper than the actual price. Fifth, a person can “under-ring” an item, whereby he causes the checkout register to identify an item as cheaper than it is. Sixth, a person can steal a shopping cart.

Shoplifting Penalties. Here is a breakdown of the grading and maximum fine and period of incarceration under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11.

Degree of Offense Value of Merchandise Maximum Fine Maximum Incarceration
Disorderly Persons Offense Less than $200 $1,000 Up to 6 Months in Jail
Fourth Degree Crime $200 to $500 $10,000 Up to 18 Months Prison
Third Degree Crime $500 to $75,000 $15,000 3-5 Years in Prison
Second Degree Crime $75,000 or More $150,000 5-10 Years in Prison

Community Service. In addition to the court imposed sentence, the court is required to sentence a shoplifter to community service:

Scotch Plains Shoplifting Defense Lawyer

You should consider getting a defense lawyer if you face a shoplifting charge. Shoplifting is not as minor as you may think, particularly if the item you are accused of shoplifting is more than $500. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is equipped to provide quality representation with a team of attorneys that have over a century of combined criminal experience. Our lawyers have helped countless clients obtain a downgrade or get out of their shoplifting charges. Call us at 908-272-1700 to learn how an attorney can help you.