When compared to burglary or robbery, you might be thinking that the penalties for shoplifting pale in comparison but this is not always the case. New Jersey, in particular, has some pretty stringent penalties in place for those who are convicted of shoplifting. Below, we will take a look at what the penalties for shoplifting in the Garden State are and how an experienced criminal defense attorney is imperative to fighting the charges against you.
What Counts as Shoplifting?
All of us know that taking something from a store is considered shoplifting, but many people are often surprised to learn that switching or altering a price tag constitutes shoplifting, as well. Shoplifting can also consist of ringing up the price of an item incorrectly and moving it to a new location in the store in an effort to get a lower price on it.
What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in New Jersey?
The penalties for shoplifting are based upon the value of the merchandise that was stolen. These are listed below:
- If more than $75,000 worth of merchandise was stolen, it is considered a 2nd degree offense. A 2nd-degree offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a monetary fine up to $150,000.
- If $500-$75,000 worth of merchandise was stolen, it is considered a 3rd degree offense. A 3rd degree offense is punishable of up to 5 years in prison and a monetary fine of up to $15,000.
- If the retail value of merchandise stolen was greater than $200 but less than $500, it is considered a 4th degree offense. A 4th degree offense is punishable of up to 18 months in prison and a monetary fine of up to $10,000.
- If the value of the merchandise stolen is less than $200, that is a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor), which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
In New Jersey, stores are allowed to recover compensation in the event of shoplifting. If someone is convicted of shoplifting, they will be required to pay a fine up to $150 to the store that the merchandise was stolen from. This compensation is in addition to any damages they recover including court costs, attorney fees and lost time and/or wages for having to bring the civil action suit forward.
If you’re a parent whose child was convicted of shoplifting, you may be held responsible for paying back these damages.
Can I Get My Shoplifting Charges Expunged?
Yes, you can! In New Jersey, individuals who have been convicted of an indictable offense (like a second, third or fourth degree crime), are eligible to seek expungement.
An expungement will make it so you can legally state you’ve never been convicted of a crime. While unfair, a criminal record still carries a significant stigma in the state of New Jersey. Those who have been convicted of a crime may find it incredibly difficult to move forward with their life, finding their job, loan and housing applications denied. At Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC, we’re compassionate about this fact and will work with you to develop a comprehensive strategy to fight the shoplifting charges against you. If you were previously convicted of shoplifting and served your time and want to get started on filing for expungement, we can help. Don’t let one mistake determine the rest of your life. The team at Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC can help.
Contact an Experienced Audubon Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Shoplifting Charges in Audubon
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 Aydelotte & Scardella Law LLC have successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester Counties, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-452-4820 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 109 E. Atlantic Ave, Audubon, NJ 08106 as well as offices located in Hamilton.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.