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Sayreville NJ Shoplifting Attorney
While shoplifting may seem like a minor offense, don’t make the mistake of taking this type of Sayreville criminal charge lightly. A shoplifting conviction can have a significant impact on your future if not handled properly. Besides possible jail time, a shoplifting conviction can impact your future employment options, professional licenses, college loan applications, housing applications, and many other areas of your life. Hiring the right attorney to defend your Sayreville shoplifting offense can mean the difference between years of negative consequences and seamlessly moving on with your life.
At the Marshall Law Firm, our lawyers include former Middlesex County prosecutors and possess over 100 years of combined experience. We utilize our extensive knowledge to defend clients who have been charged with shoplifting and other criminal charges in Sayreville Municipal Court and at the Middlesex County Superior Court. The focus of the eight defense attorneys at the firm is on keeping an accusation from becoming a final conviction. If you or a loved one has been accused of shoplifting in Sayreville, New Jersey, call our East New Brunswick or New Brunswick Office for an immediate free consultation with an lawyer on our staff. We can be reached 24/7 at 732-227-1200 or 732-634-0700.
Shoplifting Charge in Sayreville New Jersey
Under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, shoplifting is generally the act of depriving a merchant of the full retail value of merchandise. Depending upon the value of that merchandise, you can be convicted and be sentenced for a disorderly persons offense (a misdemeanor), a fourth degree crime, third degree crime and even as a second degree crime. An individual may be charged with shoplifting under 2C:20-11 if they:
- Removes or carries away merchandise from a retail establishment without paying
- Conceals merchandise
- Swaps, recreates or alters a price tags in order to manipulate the true value of goods
- Removes merchandise from its original box or container to deprive the merchant of its true value
- Under-rings or participates in a scheme to under-ring merchandise
- Steals a shopping cart
Most common variety of shoplifting in Sayreville, NJ, involves individuals arrested for shoplifting merchandise with a value under $200. This is a disorderly persons offense that falls under the jurisdiction of the Sayreville Municipal Court. If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense for shoplifting in Sayreville, you face penalties that include a fine of up to $1,000, 180 days in a county jail, and 10 days of community service.
The penalties for shoplifting become more severe as the value of the merchandise allegedly taken increases. You should also know that all shoplifting charges involving theft or an attempt to steal property with a value of $200 result in a felony criminal offense that can only be dealt with at the Superior Court in New Brunswick. If you are convicted for fourth degree shoplifting, you face a fine of up to $10,000, up to 18 months in prison and a period of community service. A third degree shoplifting offense carries a fine of up to $15,000, 3-5 years in prison and a period of community service. Theft of merchandise having a value of $75,000 or more is a second degree crime that triggers a fine of up to $150,000, 5-10 years and other potential penalties.
If you are found guilty of any of these grades of shoplifting, you will have a criminal record for at least 5 years (from the time you have completed your sentence) before you may be eligible to file a petition to expunge the conviction. In other words, you will not be able to escape the negative consequences of being convicted for a Sayreville theft offense of shoplifting for a minimum of five years. This should be incentive enough for you to hire the very best criminal defense attorney you can find to defend your Sayreville shoplifting charge.
Defending a Shoplifting Charge in Sayreville, New Jersey
Our experienced shoplifting defense attorneys can help. With more than 100 years of combined experience defending clients in New Jersey, our criminal defense lawyers have heard many stories about how someone made a mistake when shopping at a store.
They may have purchased a number of items and then walked out of the store with something they forgot to pay for. A loss prevention officer then grabs them and accuses them of theft.
The person explains that it was a mistake, but nevertheless, they are taken into a back room, interrogated, called a liar, and forced to sign documents. After all of that, a law enforcement officer arrives on the scene and arrests them.
In many of the cases, the person falsely accused of shoplifting has never been in any trouble with the law for anything in their entire life. Now, suddenly their life is turned upside down.
Because shoplifting is usually a disorderly persons offenses (a misdemeanor), an inexperienced lawyer may convince you that negotiating a plea agreement involving minimal probation will be your best option.
However, even with the very least amount of probation, the shoplifting conviction will remain on your permanent criminal record. And in today’s world, where anyone can find information on anyone else, these matters need to be dealt with head on and by an experienced shoplifting defense lawyer who can keep your record free of a conviction.
Sayreville Shoplifting Defense Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting in Sayreville, New Jersey, you should contact a defense lawyer at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall immediately. Our attorneys will fully review what transpired at the store and provide you with a recommendation for the most effective approach for a avoiding a guilty finding. For a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our Sayreville, NJ shoplifting defense lawyers, contact one of our conveniently located Middlesex County Offices. An attorney with the knowledge and skill to get you out of this situation is ready to speak to you now.