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Middlesex County Criminal Defense Lawyer

  • Over 100 Years of Combined Experience
  • Practice Exclusively in DUI & Criminal Defense
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Plainsboro Shoplifting Lawyer

Charged with Shoplifting in Plainsboro New Jersey

Shoplifting costs businesses $50 billion a year so it only makes sense that merchants in a municipality like Plainsboro, which has approximately 22,999 residents, would have many charges for this form of theft annually. Retailers at Plainsboro Plaza, Plainsboro Village Center and other locations in the township vigorously pursue those who commit a shoplifting offense in Plainsboro.  In addition, there are strict rules against plea bargaining in shoplifting cases that apply in Plansboro Municipal Court (i.e. disorderly persons offense for shoplifting) and at the Middlesex County Superior Court (e.g. crime of the second, third or fourth degree). This is one of several reasons why it is important to hire a lawyer who is skilled in defending this type of theft offense if you have been charged with shoplifting in Plainsboro New Jersey. The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is equipped with highly qualified criminal defense attorneys.  Our firm is composed of former Middlesex County prosecutors and seasoned lawyers whose practices are devoted to clients facing Plainsboro shoplifting charges and other criminal offenses. An attorney is available to assist you with a free initial consultation by contacting our office anytime 24/7.

Shoplifting Offense in the Township of Plainsboro

A shoplifting offense in Plainsboro Township cannot be proven unless the prosecutor establishes guilt beyond reasonable doubt under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. If you were arrested in Plainsboro for shoplifting, the state must prove that you: 

  • Intentionally took or carried away merchandise without paying for it
  • Concealed merchandise without paying for it
  • Altered, removed or transferred price tags on merchandise to reflect a lower value
  • Changed the container of goods in order to deceive the merchant as to the true value of the merchandise
  • Removed a shopping cart from a store’s premises without permission of the owner

No matter how damaging the evidence might appear, keep in mind that you are presumed innocent unless and until you are proven guilty. Indeed, the charge filed in Plainsboro is nothing more than an allegation until a prosecutor presents evidence to prove that you intended to commit a theft (i.e. steal) and engaged in one of the forms of conduct previously set forth.  Our Plainsboro shoplifting defense lawyers are skilled at analyzing the evidence and the facts of a case to identify defenses that could weaken the evidence against you. For example, perhaps the video evidence does not support an intention to permanently deprive the store of the property or otherwise fails to substantiate the charges.

Grading and Penalties for Plainsboro Shoplifting Charges

According to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(c), the grade, meaning the seriousness of the offense, and penalties imposed for shoplifting depend upon the retail value of the property taken. Shoplifting can be either a disorderly persons offense that is dealt with in Plainsboro Municipal Court or an indictable crime which can only be resolved at the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick. The breakdown of how a shoplifting offense is graded is as follows:

  • Second Degree Crime. Shoplifting property with a value of at least $75,000 triggers a second degree crime and penalties that include five years up to a maximum of 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.

  • Third Degree Crime. Property valued in excess of $500 but less than $75,000 results in a third degree crime that is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and fines up to $15,000.

  • Fourth Degree Crime. It is a fourth degree crime to shoplifting property valued at $200 but not in excess of $500. The penalties for fourth degree shoplifting include up to 18 months in prison and a  fine that can reach $10,000.

  • Disorderly Persons Offense. Theft of property with a value of less than $200 results in a disorderly persons offense and is punishable by up to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in the county jail.

Your sentence will include at least 10 days of court-ordered community service. If it is your second conviction, the minimum is 15 days with the minimum for a third conviction being 25 days.

In addition to the penalties that were just discussed, a shoplifting conviction carries a collateral consequence of a permanent criminal record that employers and anyone doing a background check will discover.

Plainsboro NJ Shoplifting Attorney

The Plainsboro NJ shoplifting attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall will take the time to ensure that you achieve the best outcome in your case. They will utilize the 100 plus years of collective experience of our lawyers to fight the charge against you.  To speak with one of our defense attorneys in a free consultation, contact our office.  A lawyer can be reached now at (732) 634-0700.