With the biggest shopping season upon us, the state of New Jersey will likely notice an increase in shoplifting charges over the next couple of months. Understanding the consequences of a shoplifting charge is important, especially if you have pending charges. The state tends to be strict when it comes to shoplifting.
Understanding New Jersey’s Shoplifting Charges
If you are dealing with shoplifting charges in New Jersey, it is important to understand the consequences that you face. While taking an item might not seem like a big deal at the time, it can lead to criminal charges, as well as the potential of jail time. You could deal with the following charges:
- Jail time
- Required community service
- Counseling classes
- Expensive fines
Shoplifting charges could also affect your ability to gain employment, or it could even impact your immigration status. The charges that you receive will vary, depending on the details of your arrest. The court will take many things into account, including the value of the items shoplifted, as well as whether or not you have any prior convictions. Shoplifting charges will vary, from minimal valued items and a disorderly offense charge to high-value items and a second-degree felony. Disorderly persons offenses carry the least consequences, including up to six months in jail and restitution of payments, but are reserved for items stolen with a value of $200 or less. People who are caught with shoplifting items of higher value, including items that are $75,000 or more in value, could be met with a second-degree shop offense, and up to 10 years in jail. People with multiple shoplifting charges or a prior criminal record could also have increased charges.
Understanding N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11
This statute is New Jersey’s laws defining shoplifting. They include the following:
- Stealing merchandise: This includes people who purposely take possession of an item, also known as the traditional form of shoplifting.
- Altering labels: This includes the action of altering a price tag or label, to adjust the value of an item.
- Moving items to another container: This includes moving items to a container other than their original one, in an attempt to not pay for it, or to pay less.
- Under-ringing merchandise: This includes the action of purposely under-ringing an item, which is usually done by an employee.
- Removing shopping cart: The action of purposely removing a shopping cart without the consent of the shop can also be considered shoplifting.
As you can see, other behaviors can fall into the description of shoplifting in New Jersey. It is also illegal to use anti-shoplifting devices in stores. This is because it demonstrates an intent to shoplift. Even if you are caught with the device, but have not stolen anything, you can still receive charges.
Build Your Defense Against Shoplifting Charges Today
If you are dealing with potential shoplifting charges, then it is important to reach out to a lawyer as soon as possible. There are defenses available that may or may not be suited to your legal case. Your lawyer will evaluate the details of your case and then go over each of these options with you.
Contact an Experienced Voorhees Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with shoplifting in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Garber Law have successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting in Camden, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Winslow, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 435-5800 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at the Greens of Laurel Oak, 1200 Laurel Oak Road, Suite 104, Voorhees, NJ 08043, as well as an office located in Philadelphia, PA.