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Middlesex County Criminal Defense Lawyer

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Third Degree Shoplifting Offense

New Brunswick 3rd Degree Shoplifting Attorneys

If you were charged with shoplifting merchandise with a value in excess of $750, you are facing a third degree crime. This grade of shoplifting in Woodbridge, Edison, East Brunswick or elsewhere in Middlesex County, is a felony that carries penalties that include years in New Jersey State Prison. Your avoiding a third degree conviction for shoplifting certainly hinges, at least in part, on your hiring the best defense lawyer you can find to defend you. Our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, has an extremely high level of experience defending shoplifting charges at the New Brunswick NJ Superior Court (a.k.a. Middlesex County Superior Court).  Our team of attorneys even includes a former prosecutor from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office. An attorney on our staff is ready to assist you immediately by contacting our New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126.

Third Degree Shoplifting Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, there are essentially seven (7) ways an individual can commit a shoplifting and it to be a third degree crime. An individual can purposely take or attempt to take merchandise. They may also commit a shoplifting by concealing merchandise, alter price tags, under-ring merchandise, transfer goods to another container, or steal shopping carts. The seventh way a shoplifting can be a third degree is where the accused is a member of an organized retail theft enterprise.

When Is Shoplifting a Third Degree Crime?

Whenever an individual commits one of the acts set forth above and the merchandis involved as a value in excess of $750 but less than $75,000, it is a third degree crime. In determining whether the merchandise falls within the third degree shoplifting range, the full retail value of the merchandise is utilized.

Penalties for Third Degree Shoplifting

The fine for a third degree is up to $15,000. A state prison term of five (5) years may also be imposed. In addition, there is a period of community service that must be completed. The community service is ten days for a first offense, 15 days for a second offense, and up to 25 days for a third offense.

Restrictions on Downgrading

In accordance with guidelines set by the Attorney General, a third degree shoplifting charge is not to be downgraded to a disorderly persons shoplifting offense and remanded to municipal court if the merchandise has a value of $2,000 or more.

Other Considerations Regarding Third Degree Shoplifting

  • Presumption That Applies When Merchandise Is Concealed. If someone conceals merchandise, the law presumes that their intention was to shoplift the item(s). And it should be point out that the person need not leave the store in order for this presumption to trigger.
  • Detention by Loss Prevention or Law Enforcement. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, a police officer, loss prevention officer or even a merchant, can detain and/or arrest an individual provided they possess probable cause to believe that they have committed a shoplifting.
  • Forfeiture of Public Employment or Public Office. If you are convicted of a third degree shoplifting, you are required by NJ law to forfeit your public employment or public office. In this regard, N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2 mandates that anyone convicted of an offense involving “dishonesty” or a crime of the third degree or above cannot maintain office or governmental employment. If you have been charged with shoplifting and the grade of the offense is third or above, you must win your case and/or obtaing Pretrial Intervention. Absent a dismissal or avoidance of a conviction through PTI, you must forfeit your position under 2C:51-2.

Shoplifting Defense Lawyers in New Brunswick NJ

While the aforesaid information is helpful in understanding a shoplifting offense which is a third degree, you certainly may have more detailed questions. Lawyers are available 24/7 to assist you by calling our  New Brunswick Office at 732-246-7126. We defend indictable shoplifting charges arising throughout Middlesex County including in North Brunswick, Piscataway and Monroe. A lawyer is ready to formulate an effective plan to achieve the most favorable outcome of your case.

Additional Shoplifting Resources To Assist You

Edison Shoplifting Defense Lawyers

Woodbridge Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting Offense in East Brunswick