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Disorderly Persons Shoplifting Offense
Edison NJ Disorderly Persons Offense of Shoplifting
In New Jersey, the lowest grade of shoplifting charge is a disorderly persons offense. Although this would be categorized as a misdemeanor, it will nevertheless show up on a criminal background check as a conviction to stealing/theft. A conviction also carries significant fines and other penalties, and can have ancillary consequences like effecting immigration status. If you were charged with a disorderly persons offense of shoplifting in Edison, East Brunswick, Woodbridge, or any other town in Middesex County, we will fight for you. We possess the largest shoplifting defense team in the state and have offices conveniently located in New Brunswick, East Brunswick and Woodbridge. Initial consultations are always free of charge so do not hesitate to give us a call at 732-227-1200.
East Brunswick Municipal Court Shoplifting Charge
In accordance with the shoplifting statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, it is a disorderly persons offense to shoplift merchandise with a value of $200 or less. To convict someone of this grade of shoplifting in East Brunswick or elsewhere, the prosecutor must establish that the accused did one of the following: (1) took merchandise with the intention of keeping it; (2) concealed merchandise with the purpose of stealing it; (3) altered price tags; (4) transferred goods into a container to take them; (5) was involved in underringing of a purchase(s); or (6) theft of a shopping cart. If an individual accidentally leaves the store without paying for an item, that is not shoplifting. Conversely, it is not necessary for an individual to leave the store with merchandise if it is concealed as concealment constitutes shoplifting so long as it is done with the intention to commit a theft.
Penalties for Disorderly Persons Shoplifting, Woodbridge New Jersey
A conviction for this disorderly persons offense triggers fines and other monetary sanctions, restitution, jail, community service, and/or probation. More specifically, a municipal court may order the following:
- Fines. A fine of up to $1,000 may be imposed along with court costs, as well as mandatory assessments for the safe neighborhood fund and the victims of crime compensation board.
- Restitution. If the merchandise is not recovered or damaged, the accused may be ordered to reimburse the merchant for the goods.
- Jail. A jail term of up to six (6) months may be imposed. In addition, there is a mandatory jail term of at least ninety days for a third or subsequent dp shoplifting conviction.
- Community Service. A first offense results in a minimum of 10 days community service, a second carries at least 15 days and a third triggers 25 days or more.
- Probation. Upon being found guilty of a dp offense of shoplifting, probation with reasonable conditions may also be ordered by the court.
Limitations on Plea Bargaining Shoplifting in Municipal Court
For many years, it was common practice for municipal prosecutors to downgrade shoplifting charges to ordinance violations, especially for those with no prior record. As a result of what many assume is pressure from the State of New Jersey, there is clearly a uniform reluctance to downgrade shoplifting throughout Middlesex County. Amendments to an ordinance violation are becoming more and more infrequent thereby making it that more important to hire the right attorney.
Immigration Consequences. If you lack citizenship and are convicted of shoplifting, this may jeopardize your status. The reason for this stems from the fact that shoplifting is considered a crime involving moral turpitude. A conviction(s) for offenses falling within this category can result in revocation of a visa, denial of a change in status, or even removal.
Diversion Programs. Effective 12/15/13, conditional dismissal was made available for disorderly persons shoplifting charges.
You can reach an attorney at the firm for more information by calling 732-227-1200.