New Jersey Shoplifting Defense Lawyers
Trusted, Compassionate Shoplifting Defense Lawyers Represent Clients in Gloucester County, Camden County, and Burlington County, NJ
Perhaps because shoplifting is such a common offense, many people arrested on shoplifting charges fail to take the situation seriously. Shoplifting often happens because of an emotional compulsion, on a whim or simply for the rush. Most defendants accused of shoplifting are not particularly familiar with the laws governing the offense. Even if you have no prior record, you need a strong lawyer in your corner to fight for the best outcome.
The seasoned criminal defense lawyers at Hercules Law Group, LLC aim to have your case dismissed or win an acquittal. The firm’s lawyers understand that defendants accused of shoplifting are typically just people who have made mistakes. You can expect compassion, respect, and a serious defense when you choose Hercules Law Group, LLC to handle your shoplifting defense.
New Jersey courts have begun to take shoplifting and theft offenses much more seriously in recent years. If you or a loved one were accused of shoplifting, getting the best possible defense lawyer is important—because you could be facing serious felony charges for what might seem like a minor mistake. What might have led to a slap on the wrist in prior years can now result in steep penalties and even jail.
Hercules Law Group, LLC will prepare a thorough defense on your behalf and stand by your side every step of the way. To learn more, call today for a free case review with an experienced New Jersey shoplifting defense lawyer.
New Jersey Shoplifting Law: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11
In prosecuting a New Jersey shoplifting charge, the value of the allegedly stolen property is important. Small differences in valuation can make the difference between prosecution for a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or indictable crime (felony). Shoplifting in New Jersey is graded based upon the following scale:
- Stolen property valued at under $200: a disorderly persons offense punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine
- Stolen property valued between $200 and $500: a fourth-degree felony punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a maximum $10,000 fine
- Stolen property valued between $500 and $75,000: a third-degree felony punishable by between three and five years in prison and a maximum $15,000 fine
- Stolen property valued at $75,000 or more: a second-degree felony punishable by between five and ten years in prison and a maximum $150,000 fine
Regardless of the severity of your charges, Hercules Law Group, LLC will take your case seriously. The firm believes that the stakes are high for anyone who is accused of a crime—even those crimes that are relatively less serious than others.
With a strong lawyer by your side, many first offenders are not put in jail for shoplifting unless the stolen goods were extremely valuable. Community service may be mandatory—and if you are convicted three or more times, a mandatory minimum 90-day jail sentence will be required regardless of the value of the stolen goods.
The attorneys at Hercules Law Group, LLC are prepared to go to bat on your behalf today. If you were arrested on shoplifting charges in New Jersey, call as soon as possible to speak with an experienced defense lawyer.
Situations Where Shoplifting Charges Might Apply
It is important to understand that the law does not actually require a completed theft for the prosecution to charge you with shoplifting. Shoplifting charges can stick under a variety of circumstances where you never even removed the merchandise from the store, including:
- Concealing merchandise
- Altering, removing or changing a price tag to purchase the merchandise for less than its fair value
- Transferring merchandise between containers to avoid paying fair value
- Under-ringing merchandise
- Removing a shopping cart from the store premises
In order to establish shoplifting under any of these scenarios, the prosecution is required to show that you purposely intended to take the property without paying full value. An experienced defense lawyer can question the prosecution’s ability to establish the requisite intent. Your lawyer can also argue that your past (crime-free) history makes conviction and jail inappropriate.
Speak with an Experienced New Jersey Shoplifting Defense Lawyer Today
At minimum, your freedom and your finances are at stake if you have been accused of shoplifting. A shoplifting conviction can also make it much more difficult to find employment—remembering that many employers might find it difficult to trust someone who has stolen in the past.
Hercules Law Group, LLC is available to defend your shoplifting charges in Camden County and across New Jersey. If you have questions about the charges you are facing, schedule a free initial consultation as soon as possible. The firm’s lawyers have answers. Call or contact the firm today to schedule your free case review. Hercules Law Group, LLC offers competitive pricing and accepts all major credit cards if you choose to retain the firm’s services.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey
The prosecution is not required to prove that you took property off the store premises. It is sufficient if the prosecution can prove that you intended to do so. Intent to deprive the merchant of full retail value for merchandise can be shown by the circumstances. For example, if you concealed the property on your person or put it in a purse, that evidence can be used to show intent even if you did not leave the store and may have changed your mind.
Independent fair market valuations are usually not required. In most shoplifting cases, the value of the property as marked by the merchant or indicated within the store controls. The value of all stolen items are added together to determine how harsh the punishment might be. In other words, even if all stolen goods are valued at under $200, if the value in total exceeds $200, you can be charged with a felony.
Yes. Devices that demagnetize anti-shoplifting devices or change barcodes do exist. Possessing one of these items in a store is a disorderly persons offense (punishable by six months in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine).