Camden County Shoplifting Lawyers
Camden County Shoplifting Lawyers Committed to Strong Advocacy for All Clients Accused of Shoplifting
While many people think of shoplifting as a relatively minor criminal offense, the reality is that New Jersey law can impose relatively harsh penalties for shoplifting depending upon the value of the property stolen. In many cases, people arrested for shoplifting have never before had any interaction with the criminal justice system and may not initially know how to proceed in obtaining the best chance of avoiding conviction. Like any other crime, a shoplifting conviction will appear on your criminal record, which can often be accessed by potential employers and landlords. Further, you may suffer the embarrassment of having to disclose your shoplifting charges when applying for professional licenses or to gain admission to a college or university.
At Attorneys Hartman, Chartered, we take shoplifting charges as seriously as any other criminal offense. For many clients, our experienced shoplifting lawyers can help our clients in Woodbury, Moorestown, Voorhees and elsewhere in New Jersey avoid formal prosecution altogether. We have a combined 53 years’ worth of experience protecting the legal rights of clients who have been arrested on shoplifting charges and have the skills necessary to provide smart and effective representation in your case. We understand that it can be humiliating and difficult to discuss your shoplifting charges, but we urge you to gain the counsel of our experienced lawyers rather than risk the potentially harsh consequences that might otherwise apply in shoplifting cases.
Understanding How New Jersey Characterizes Shoplifting Offenses
New Jersey’s shoplifting statute is actually relatively complex, and categorizes the following activities as shoplifting:
- Carrying away merchandise from a store with intent to deprive the store of possession,
- Purposefully concealing merchandise with intent to deprive the store of possession,
- Changing the price tags with intent to deprive the store of the merchandise’s true value,
- Moving an item from one container to another with intent to deprive the store of the merchandise’s true value,
- Under ringing merchandise to reflect a lower price than the actual value of the merchandise,
- Removing a shopping cart from a store with intent to permanently deprive the merchant of the cart.
Shoplifting Punishments Vary Based Upon Value of Stolen Items
In New Jersey, the penalties for shoplifting can vary dramatically depending upon the value of the stolen items, as follows:
- Value of $75,000 or more. For items valued at $75,000 or more, shoplifting is prosecuted as a second-degree offense that could carry up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
- Value between $500 and $75,000. When the property is valued at between $500 and $75,000, shoplifting is treated as a third-degree offense punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
- Value between $200 and $500. When the property is valued at between $200 and $500, shoplifting is treated as a fourth-degree offense punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
- Value under $200. When the items are valued at under $200, the offense is charged as a disorderly persons offense and the penalties vary depending upon the previous record of the defendant. For first offenders, at least 10 days of community service is required, but for third and subsequent offenders, a jail term of at least 90 days and no more than 180 days is required, in addition to potential fines of up to $1,000.
When multiple items are involved, the value of all items is aggregated when determining the relevant shoplifting charge that will apply. This is also the case where the shoplifting was pursuant to some sort of scheme that took place among multiple people at different times.
Attorneys Hartman, Chartered Represent Clients Accused of All Degrees of Shoplifting Crimes in Marlton
Regardless of the degree of shoplifting that you are charged with, you need an experienced shoplifting lawyer to minimize the consequences that the arrest and charge can carry. While shoplifting may seem simple on its face, in reality, shoplifting charges can present significant complications that our experienced lawyers can use to argue for reduced charges or even an outright dismissal in some cases. At Attorneys Hartman, Chartered, we are dedicated to comprehensively investigating your case and surrounding circumstances to form the strongest possible argument to minimize the charges against you.
Call Today to Schedule a Confidential Consultation with a Seasoned Cherry Hill Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
While we understand that it can be embarrassing to discuss your shoplifting charges with a stranger, working with an experienced shoplifting attorney significantly improves your chances of obtaining a favorable outcome in your case. If you or a loved one have been arrested on shoplifting charges in the Cherry Hill area, call or contact our experienced shoplifting lawyers to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss options in your case today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Haddonfield Shoplifting Charges
FAQ: Can I participate in one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs to avoid formal conviction if I was arrested for shoplifting?
If you were accused of shoplifting an item valued at $200 or more (i.e., the crime was charged as a second, third or fourth-degree offense), you may be eligible to participate in the pre-trial intervention (PTI) program if you have no prior criminal offenses on your record. If the crime charged was a disorderly persons offense for shoplifting an item valued at less than $200, the pre-trial intervention program is not available. Generally, to successfully complete the PTI program, you must comply with the conditions imposed by the court, which may include community service, restitution, counseling, and drug or alcohol treatment, over a period of time that usually spans between one and three years.
FAQ: Can I have a shoplifting conviction expunged from my record in New Jersey?
In some cases, yes. Generally, a three-year waiting period applies before you can obtain an expungement of a shoplifting conviction that was charged as a disorderly persons offense. For felony shoplifting charges, a five to ten-year waiting period applies. If your shoplifting arrest did not result in conviction, that arrest can be expunged immediately.