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Conditional Dismissal for New Jersey Shoplifting Charges

August 12, 2022

Conditional Dismissal for New Jersey Shoplifting Charges

Most people don’t realize the severe consequences that come with shoplifting charges when they’re in the moment. It’s not until you’re arrested and in front of a judge that you find out that shoplifting charges can affect your future. The good news is that you don’t have to let a mistake leave you with criminal charges.

What is Conditional Dismissal?

New Jersey implemented a conditional dismissal program in 2014. The conditional dismissal program applies to disorderly persons offenses and gives you a one-time dismissal on certain charges. You must meet certain eligibility requirements to qualify for conditional dismissal, including:

  • You don’t have any prior criminal convictions
  • You haven’t used a conditional dismissal previously
  • The court approves your conditional dismissal

If approved, the court drops your shoplifting charges. You’ll keep your clean record as long as you stay out of trouble going forward.

How to Apply for Conditional Dismissal

The conditional dismissal program may be right for you if you’re dealing with pending shoplifting charges and you don’t have any prior offenses. You can apply for conditional dismissal by paying the application fee and completing all required paperwork. Working with a criminal defense lawyer to evaluate your eligibility and fill out your application can be beneficial.

Your conditional dismissal, if approved, will also have specific requirements you’ll have to complete. This may include things like community service or restitution of the stolen goods.

It’s important to note that you’re only eligible for conditional dismissal once. Even though conditional dismissal removes your criminal charges, the courts are still able to tell that you have had a previous conditional dismissal. This includes previous conditional discharge or pretrial intervention programs too.

Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey

Ignoring shoplifting charges in New Jersey can lead to legal fines and potential jail time. The specific fines and jail time you’re subject to vary depending on the value of stolen goods. For example, if the value of goods stolen is less than $200, you’re likely to be charged with a disorderly persons offense, which leads to jail time up to six months. If you’re charged with stolen goods valued at over $75,000, you can expect second-degree charges and potential jail time up to 10 years.

Even after you serve jail time, you may be required to complete community service requirements or attend counseling classes. You’ll also likely be required to complete a year or two of parole.

Read more: 6 Steps to Clearing Your Record in New Jersey

Shoplifting Defenses in New Jersey

The conditional dismissal program may not be right for everyone. Even if you don’t qualify for this program, you may have other defense options available. Your best plan against shoplifting charges in New Jersey is to work with a criminal defense lawyer. Shoplifting charges, even minimal ones, can affect your future in many ways.

Shoplifting can leave you with a criminal record, which can make it difficult to find or keep employment. If you hold a professional license, you could also be at risk of losing it to shoplifting charges. Some shoplifting charges also lead to required jail time. A minor mistake shouldn’t determine the rest of your future.

Read more: How to Get Shoplifting Charges Dismissed

Contact an Experienced Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey

Were you arrested or charged with shoplifting charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting charges in Cherry Hill, Moorestown, Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 230-0374 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, as well as an office located in Cherry Hill, NJ.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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