Shoplifting

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Neptune NJ Shoplifting Defense Lawyers

Shoplifting is a criminal charge in New Jersey that can arise in a variety of circumstances, the most obvious of which involves taking merchandise or property from a retail establishment. However, shoplifting charges can also result from an employee charging less than the full retail value of merchandise or changing or removing the price tag of an item. A conviction for shoplifting can entail a host of collateral consequences that may be unexpected. Unbeknownst to many, shoplifting is considered a “crime of moral turpitude,” which can spell serious negative consequences for an individual who is not currently a U.S. citizen, and may even result in deportation.

As is typical with many theft crimes in New Jersey, the degree of a charge for shoplifting is contingent upon the value of the allegedly stolen merchandise. For example, cases involving merchandise valued below $200 will result in charges for a disorderly persons offense, which is adjudicated at the local municipal court and is punishable by penalties including 6 months in the county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, restitution payments, and community service.

Shoplifting charges then increase in severity as the amount associated with the alleged offense increases, with the possibility for fourth, third, and second degree indictable felony charges depending on the specific value of the merchandise. Cases involving felony charges are tried in the Superior Court in the county where the alleged crime occurred and are punishable by a term of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison, among other penalties.

The attorneys at Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington are extremely familiar with the nuances involved in shoplifting cases, as they have accumulated a wealth of experience defending clients charged with these offenses. If you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting in Monmouth County, New Jersey, do not delay in contacting a knowledgeable defense attorney for assistance. The lawyers at Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington can be reached anytime at 732-440-3950 to discuss your case.

Shoplifting in Monmouth County: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11

As previously mentioned, a number of offenses can constitute shoplifting in New Jersey, as described in N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. According to this statute, it is a violation of this section:

(1) For any person purposely to take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.

(2) For any person purposely to conceal upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof.

(3) For any person purposely to alter, transfer or remove any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value thereof.

(4) For any person purposely to transfer any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail merchandise establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof.

(5) For any person purposely to under-ring with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value thereof.

(6) For any person purposely to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart.

Gradation

(1) Shoplifting constitutes a crime of the second degree under subsection b. of this section if the full retail value of the merchandise is $75,000 or more, or the offense is committed in furtherance of or in conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise and the full retail value of the merchandise is $1,000 or more.

(2) Shoplifting constitutes a crime of the third degree under subsection b. of this section if the full retail value of the merchandise exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000, or the offense is committed in furtherance of or in conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise and the full retail value of the merchandise is less than $1,000.

(3) Shoplifting constitutes a crime of the fourth degree under subsection b. of this section if the full retail value of the merchandise is at least $200 but does not exceed $500.

(4) Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense under subsection b. of this section if the full retail value of the merchandise is less than $200.

Penalties for Shoplifting in New Jersey

Shoplifting as a Disorderly Persons Offense (merchandise valued at $200 or less): maximum sentence of 6 months to be served in the county jail

Shoplifting as a Fourth Degree Crime (merchandise valued between $200 and $500): maximum sentence of 18 months to be served in New Jersey State Prison 

Shoplifting as a Third Degree Crime (merchandise valued between $500 and $75,000): term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison 

Shoplifting as a Second Degree Crime (merchandise valued above $75,000): term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison 

NOTE: Penalties may also include restitution payments and a period of community service. The term of the community service is determined by the following:

First Offense: minimum of 10 days

Second Offense: minimum of 15 days

Third or Subsequent Offense: a maximum of 25 days of community service in addition to a minimum term of imprisonment of 90 days

Contact Freehold NJ Shoplifting Lawyers for Assistance with Your Case

If you or someone you love is facing charges for shoplifting in Monmouth County, New Jersey, contact the West Long Branch offices of Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington at 732-440-3950. One of the firm’s skilled defense lawyers will be happy to evaluate your case, to provide answers to your pressing questions, and to discuss the alternatives that may be available to you.

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Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington of West Long Branch, New Jersey, provides representation throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Belmar, Colts Neck, Deal, Eatontown, Freehold, Hazlet, Holmdel, Howell, Lake Como, Long Branch, Manalapan, Manasquan, Marlboro Township, Middletown, Neptune, Oakhurst, Ocean Township, Redbank, Shrewsbury, Spring Lake, Tinton Falls, Wall Township, West Long Branch, and Freehold Township; Ocean County including Bayville, Brick, Jackson, Lakewood, Lakewood Township, Mantoloking, Point Pleasant, Point Pleasant Beach, and Toms River; Middlesex County including East Brunswick, Milltown, New Brunswick, Old Bridge Township, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy, South River, and Spotswood.

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