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South Plainfield Shoplifting Lawyer
A South Plainfield shoplifting offense can come in the form of a disorderly persons offense that is handled in a South Plainfield Municipal Court or as an indictable crime (i.e. fourth degree, third degree or second degree) falling under the jurisdiction of the Middlesex County Superior Court in New Brunswick NJ, depending on the value of the merchandise allegedly stolen. Irrespective of the pedigree of shoplifting you were charged with in South Plainfield New Jersey, hiring a lawyer with the know how to effectively defend the charge is pivotal.
A conviction for shoplifting exposes you to serious penalties and collateral ramifications. You will be fined and face a minimum of up to 6 months in jail. Failure to successfully defend your South Plainfield shoplifting charge will also result in a criminal record for stealing which can severely impact your ability to obtain employment, professional license and in many other ways. If you are not a citizen, it can compromise your immigration status and cause you to be deported. Given these potential ramifications, securing representation from a skilled attorney is exactly what you need if you were arrested for shoplifting in South Plainfield.
Here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we can offer representation from a team of eight criminal attorneys that have over 100 years of combined experience. Many of the members of our team are former prosecutors who have the benefit of learning how the court system works from both sides. To speak to one of the lawyers in a free consultation, call us at 732-246-7126 for a free consultation.
Charged With Shoplifting in South Plainfield New Jersey
Shoplifting in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. A shoplifting offense will be graded and penalized based on the value of the retail goods taken. In order to find you guilty of shoplifting under 2C:20-11, the prosecutor must prove that you intended to deprive the merchant of the full retail value of goods by:
- Taking merchandise from a store without paying for it
- Concealing merchandise
- Removing or changing the labels or price tags
- Conspiring with the cashier to pay less than full retail value for the merchandise (a.k.a. Under-ringing)
- Switching the merchandise to a different container
- Removing a shopping cart from store premises
As mentioned above, shoplifting can be charged as either a disorderly persons offense or indictable crime. If you are convicted of a disorderly persons offense for shoplifting merchandise valued at less than $200, the judge of the South Plainfield Municipal Court may sentence you to up to 6 months in jail, impose a fine of up to $1,000, and you may be required to perform community service and to pay restitution to the retail establishment from which the merchandise was taken.
If you are convicted of an indictable crime for shoplifting merchandise valued at $200 or more, the penalties will be more severe and will increase as the value of the merchandise stolen increases. At the lower end, a conviction for a fourth degree crime for shoplifting merchandise valued at $200 but not more than $500, will be punishable by 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. In the most extreme cases, a conviction for a second degree crime for shoplifting merchandise valued at more than $75,000 will be punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. The largest block of felony shoplifting charges involve a third degree crime for stealing merchandise having a value of at least $500 but less than $75,000. The penalties for a third degree shoplifting offense include up to a $15,000 fine and 5 years in state prison.
Defending a South Plainfield Shoplifting Charge
Shoplifting is not the crime of the century, but a conviction can give you a criminal record with lasting repercussions. Fortunately for many, our shoplifting defense lawyers have enjoyed a tremendous record of success in helping our clients fight shoplifting cases.
You may have been distracted and walked out of the store, honestly forgetting to pay; the store security may have violated your rights when they detained you; or you may simply be a good citizen who only made a bad mistake and who really deserves leniency. Either way, we can help.
South Plainfield Shoplifting Defense Attorney
You are invited to contact our New Brunswick Office and to share your story with a knowledgeable shoplifting defense attorney. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall are available around the clock to assist individuals without obligation. Call us at 732–227–1200 to speak to a lawyer who has years of experience defending charges just like yours. Attorneys are ready now to discuss the facts of your South Plainfield shoplifting case.