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South Brunswick Shoplifting Attorney
When a person gets caught trying to steal merchandise from a store in South Brunswick or another Middlesex County municipality, they will surely be charged with shoplifting. If you have been arrested for shoplifting in South Brunswick, you face potentially serious consequences. Your punishment depends on the total retail value of the items in question all cases involving theft of merchandise of $200 result in a felony crime that can only be handled at the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick. Stealing goods with a value of less than $200 results in a charge that is heard in South Brunswick Municipal Court. Having the best criminal defense attorney available is of utmost importance irrespective of the grade of South Brunswick shoplifting offense you are facing. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have defended countless shoplifting charges arising in South Brunswick and in other local municipalities over their 100 plus years in combined practice. A lawyer is available for free consultation at 609-683-8102. Contact us in East Brunswick anytime 24/7 to speak to one of our attorneys without obligation.
South Brunswick Shoplifting Charge
The ways in which someone can be charged with shoplifting are set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. Shoplifting generally occurs when a person purposely intends to deprive a merchant of the full retail value of merchandise. Acts of shoplifting can include taking items outside a store without paying, concealing an item and removing it from a store, altering the price tag of an item or transferring merchandise to a different container to pay less for it. Another form of shoplifting is known as under-ringing; where a store employee intentionally charges less for an item. It is also considered shoplifting to be in possession of unpurchased merchandise.
The grade or degree of crime for shoplifting is determined by the value of the merchandise. The breakdown on each grade and the related penalties are as follows:
- Disorderly Persons Offense – It is a disorderly persons offense if the full retail value of the merchandise is under $200. A disorderly person can face up to six months in jail face fines of up to $1,000.
- Fourth Degree Shoplifting – It is a crime of the fourth degree if the items taken have a value over $200 but less than $500. Fourth degree shoplifting is punishable by a fine of $10,000 and up to 18 months in prison.
- Third Degree Shoplifting – Shoplifting is a crime of the third degree when the total retail value of the merchandise exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000. This offense is punishable but a $15,000 fine and three to five years in prison.
- Second Degree Shoplifting – Shoplifting is a second degree crime when the value of the stolen items is over $75,000. In this case, you can be fined up to $150,000 and face up to 10 years in prison.
Shoplifting Lawyer in South Brunswick New Jersey
Theft offenses such as shoplifting tend to have an extremely negative impact on future prospects of employment since they tend to indicate that someone is prone to be dishonest. This is a major reason, on top of the penalties that are triggered for a 2C:20-11 offense, for you to retain a skilled lawyer to defend a shoplifting offense in South Brunswick. It is possible that a highly qualified shoplifting attorney at the Marshall Firm can establish that you lacked intent to steal or some other basis for dismissal of the charge. To find out how our attorneys can help you avoid a shoplifting conviction, call 732-227-1200 for free consultation.