Monmouth County NJ Shoplifting Lawyer
If you have been arrested and charged with shoplifting in Monmouth County it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. Shoplifting is a rather unique charge, as the penalties vary drastically depending on one key factor, the dollar amount of the merchandise in question. As you will see below, shoplifting can be either a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or a second, third or fourth degree felony. The applicable penalties range anywhere from a fine all the way up to ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison. In addition, shoplifting is an enhanceable offense as well, meaning a third or subsequent conviction is mandatory minimum of 90 days in the Monmouth County Jail.
Looking to Consult with an Attorney for Shoplifting Case in Marlboro
The Keith Oliver Criminal Law is an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense firm. We represent clients charged with shoplifting in Monmouth County, in towns like Freehold, Tinton Falls, Neptune, Howell, Middletown, Hazlet, Marlboro, Ocean Township and Long Branch. Our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys have dedicated their entire careers to defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout New Jersey. We have handled hundreds if not thousands of shoplifting cases over the years. If you have been arrested for shoplifting, harassment, theft, receiving stolen property, robbery or aggravated assault and would like to have a free consultation with one of the attorneys on staff, then please contact us at 732.858.6959. We are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. Now here is some vital information on the offense of shoplifting, including the differences between degrees.
What to Know about Shoplifting Charges in NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(b)
Pursuant to the New Jersey criminal code, shoplifting governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11b, which states in pertinent part:
- Any person to purposely 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.
What Does the State Have to Prove for Shoplifting Conviction in NJ?
To be convicted of shoplifting in New Jersey the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt three material elements. They are as follows:
- That the Defendant purposely took possession of; carried away; caused to be carried away; transferred or caused to be transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by a commercial establishment;
- That the establishment in question was a store or other retail establishment; &
- The Defendant did so with the purpose to deprive the merchant of the possession, use, or benefit of such merchandise without paying the merchant the full retail value thereof.
What is the Sentence for Shoplifting in New Jersey?
The degree of the shoplifting charge that a Defendant will be facing is directly related to the dollar amount of the alleged merchandise. Here is the breakdown of the degrees as well as the applicable penalties for each degree.
Second Degree Shoplifting Sentence in Monmouth County NJ:
The value of the merchandise in question has to be over $75,000. If convicted of this charge a Defendant will be facing up to ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $150,000 and a felony criminal record.
Potential Sentences for a Third Degree Shoplifting Case Freehold NJ:
The value of the merchandise in question has to be over $500 but less than $75,000. If convicted of this charge a Defendant will be facing up to five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $15,000 and a felony criminal record.
Penalties for a Fourth Degree Shoplifting Charges in Tinton Falls:
The value of the merchandise in question has to be over $200 but less than $500. If convicted of this charge a Defendant will be facing up to five 18 months in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $10,000 and a felony criminal record.
What is the Jail time for Disorderly Persons Offense Shoplifting Conviction in Hazlet NJ:
The value of the merchandise in question has to be less than $200. If convicted of this charge a Defendant will be facing up to five (6) months in the Monmouth County Jail, a fine up to $1,000 and a criminal record.
Where Do I go to Court for a False Shoplifting Charge in Monmouth County?
Since shoplifting is considered a hybrid offense, meaning that an individual could either be charged with a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or an indictable offense (felony), the degree of the charge will dictate what Court has original jurisdiction over the case. All disorderly persons offense shoplifting cases will be litigated in the local municipal court in the municipality where the incident happened. For example, an individual arrested for allegedly shoplifting less than $200 from ShopRite in Wall Township will have their case sent to the Wall Municipal Court for disposition.
Conversely, all indictable offense shoplifting allegations will need to be sent from the local municipal court to the Monmouth County Superior Court for litigation. Using the example above, if the individual shoplifted more than $200 from the ShopRite then their case would be transferred from the Wall Municipal Court to the Monmouth County Superior Court. With that being said, it could be possible for defense counsel to convince the prosecution to downgrade and remand the charges from Superior Court back to the local Municipal Court. If this is to occur, the charges will be downgraded from an indictable offense to a disorderly persons offense. This typically will occur between the individuals Central Judicial Processing Hearing and their Pre-Indictment Conference (PIC).
Can a Shoplifting Charge be Considered a Robbery in NJ?
One thing that is important to touch upon here. If ANY force whatsoever is used during the commission of the shoplifting, the charges will automatically be escalated to robbery. Robbery is a completely different animal. It is a charge that would almost certainly land a Defendant behind bars for a long period of time if convicted. For more information on the offense of robbery in Monmouth County, please click here.
How to Avoid Jail on a Shoplifting Charge in NJ?
With that being said, as touched upon above, a third or subsequent conviction for shoplifting in New Jersey is mandatory incarceration regardless of the dollar amount in question. So as you can see, the penalties if convicted of shoplifting can be devastating. That is why hiring the right criminal defense lawyer is imperative. An experienced criminal defense attorney may be able to convince the Prosecution and the Judge to consider allowing a Defendant to be placed in a diversionary program as opposed to incarceration. Several of the diversionary programs which may be applicable include Conditional Dismissal, Pretrial Intervention and even Drug Court. For more information on these programs and the benefit of each one please either contact our office at (732) 858-6959 or click the links.
Looking to Speak to a Shoplifting Lawyer for Case in Manalapan NJ
Keith Oliver Criminal Law has been representing clients charged with shoplifting, simple assault, robbery, stalking and terroristic threats in Monmouth County for years. Our attorneys prides themselves on making sure his clients are fully informed about their options. If you would like to come into our office for a consultation today please contact us directly at (732) 858-6959. We are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible and we serve all of Monmouth County including towns like Hazlet, Tinton Falls, West Long Branch, Belmar, Manalapan, Freehold, Neptune City, Shrewsbury and Manasquan.