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North Brunswick Shoplifting Lawyer
Shoplifting is far from a harmless prank limited to teenagers. For retailers in North Brunswick, shoplifting results in millions of dollars of lost revenue each year requiring sophisticated security and loss prevention methods to put a stop to it. New Jersey Laws against shoplifting reflect the serious nature of the problem from a law enforcement perspective and the lengths to which lawmakers have gone to punish those convicted of stealing store merchandise in order to deter others from engaging in the same behavior. Courts are tough on anyone convicted of North Brunswick shoplifting so you cannot afford to walk into court with a skilled defense lawyer.
A criminal record and serving time in jail or prison are only two of the consequences of a shoplifting conviction making it essential for you to be represented by a tough and resourceful criminal attorney with years of experience defending people charged with shoplifting in the North Brunswick Municipal Court and the Middlesex County Superior Court. All of the attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are seasoned litigators and former prosecutors with extensive backgrounds in defending shoplifting charges. One of lawyers is even the ex-prosecutor of the North Brunswick Municipal Court. The members of our staff know their way around the courts and have proven records of success defending people arrested for shoplifting in North Brunswick. Contact us today by calling (732) 246-7126 to discuss your case with one of our attorneys in a free initial consultation.
Shoplifting Charge in North Brunswick New Jersey
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 creates the elements for a North Brunswick shoplifting case. Prosecutors must prove you committed one of the following acts:
- To intentionally take, carry away or cause to be carried away merchandise without paying for it
- To conceal merchandise without paying for it and intending to deprive the merchant of it
- To alter, remove or transfer labels and price tags on merchandise to reflect a lower value
- Changing the box or container for packaging of merchandise to distort the true value of the goods
- Under-ringing merchandise
- To remove a shopping cart from a store’s premises without permission of the owner
People make mistakes, which is why the law requires proof that you acted intentional to deprive the store owner of the merchandise. Our North Brunswick shoplifting defense attorneys aggressively challenge any evidence prosecutors have on the issue of intent because it is so important to the success or failure of the case they are trying to build against you. How the evidence was obtain and whether its seizure violated your rights under the Constitution is something our lawyers look for when combing through the facts and evidence. Statements you made to the police can also be challenged if your rights under the Constitution were violated by the manner in which the statement was obtained.
Grading and Penalties for North Brunswick Shoplifting Offenses
Shoplifting can be charged as an indictable offense, a felony in other states, or a disorderly persons offense, a misdemeanor. The severity of the charge depends on the retail value of the merchandise. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(c), charges are graded and penalized as follows:
- Property valued at $75,000 or more: An indictable crime of the second degree, punishable by imprisonment for five to 10 years and fines up to $100,000.
- Property valued in excess of $500, but less than $75,000: Indictable crime of the third degree punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and fines up to $15,000.
- Property valued at least at $200, but not in excess of $500: Indictable crime of the fourth degree punishable by imprisonment for up to 18 months and fines up to $10,000.
- Property valued at less than $200: Disorderly persons offense punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail.
All shoplifting offenses include community service as part of the sentence with 10 days the minimum for a first conviction, 15 days for a second conviction and 25 days for the third and any subsequent convictions.
All of these penalties, as well as a criminal record, can be avoided if you secure admission and successfully complete either the Conditional Dismissal or Pretrial Intervention Program. The guidelines for both of these avenues of relief are stringent so consulting with a knowledgeable criminal lawyer is highly advisable.
North Brunswick NJ Shoplifting Defense Attorney
You cannot get away from a North Brunswick shoplifting conviction. The criminal record will show up anytime an employer or anyone else runs a background check on you. Many employers will not hire someone with a shoplifting conviction because, in their view, it means you are dishonest and cannot be trusted. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall know what it takes to successfully defend a shoplifting offense so that you are not faced with this type of aftermath. Our attorneys have decades of favorable outcomes secured on behalf of our clients, including many represented in North Brunswick over the years. For immediately assistance from a North Brunswick NJ Shoplifting Defense Attorney on our staff, call (732) 246-7126 for an immediate free consultation.