New Jersey

The courts of New Jersey do not take shoplifting charges lightly. Where some states offer fines only for low level shoplifting, the potential for jail time is always a factor with New Jersey shoplifting offenses. This means, as a defendant, you want to be confident that you have someone on your side with experience in shoplifting defense, someone who will aggressively pursue positive results on your day in court.

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Not everyone is guilty of the crime they are charged with. You may be completely innocent of any shoplifting. Perhaps the whole situation was a misunderstanding. It happens. And an experienced criminal defense lawyer knows it.

But maybe you admit that you made a mistake. Perhaps a lapse of judgment caused you to act out of character and try to get away with stealing from a retailer. Whatever the case, a local New Jersey defense lawyer can help.

New Jersey Shoplifting Laws & Penalties

The charge you face and the potential penalty you may be forced to deal with are dependent on the value of the goods that were supposedly taken during the shoplifting. The following chart shows what level of theft charge you will face, the classification, and the potential sentence you could be forced to serve.

Value of Goods Theft Charge Crime Class Maximum Sentence
Less than $200 Disorderly Disorderly Persons 6 months in jail
$200-$500 4th Degree Felony 18 months in jail
$500- $75,000 3rd Degree Felony 5 years in prison
$75,000+ 2nd Degree Felony 10 years in prison

If this is your 3rd or subsequent shoplifting offense, you will face a mandatory minimum 90 day sentence.

These aren’t the only possible penalties. New Jersey shoplifting laws also include mandatory community service. For a first offense, you will have to put in 10 days of community service. If you have prior convictions, that term is extended to up to 25 days.

Despite how severe these penalties sound, all hope is not lost. Being charged is not the same as being convicted, and there may be several options available to you to avoid jail time and a conviction on your record.

Consulting with a local criminal defense lawyer is the best way to know for certain what alternatives might be available. The resources available where you are charged, the prosecutor, your criminal history, and the facts of your case are just some of the things that will play a role in the outcome of your case.

Contact us to speak with a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer about a shoplifting charge.