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Defending Yourself Against a Shoplifting Charge in NJ

August 30, 2019

Moorestown New Jersey Shoplifting Criminal Defense AttorneyShoplifting in New Jersey

Have you ever accidentally taken merchandise from a store without paying for it? If so, then you’ve committed a major crime according to the state of New Jersey.

Were You Accused of Shoplifting in New Jersey?

Shoplifting is often perceived as a juvenile crime, but the punishments are heavy. In New Jersey, the crime of shoplifting could mean several things like:

  • Taking merchandise out of a store
  • Altering the price of an item
  • Entering false codes into a self-checkout

What are the potential punishments for shoplifting? The penalties you face will hinge on the value of the item that was allegedly taken. That means you could face extreme punishments if the stolen item’s value is significant. Here’s a breakdown of potential punishments you could face for a first-time shoplifting offense:

  • Value of up to $200: misdemeanor crime (six months in jail, $1,000 fine)
  • Value of $200-$500: fourth-degree crime (18 months in jail, $10,000 fine)
  • Value $501-$74,999: third-degree crime (three to five years in jail, $15,000 fine)
  • Value over $75,000: second-degree crime (10 years in prison, $150,000 fine)

In addition to these punishments, you’ll also be mandated to at least ten days of community service.

Common Defenses to a Shoplifting Charge

In today’s technology-savvy era, most businesses maintain security cameras. If you were caught on film intentionally or accidentally bringing an item out of a shop, then your case can appear clear cut for the prosecution. Despite these circumstances, there are still a number of common shoplifting defenses that may apply in your case. Here are a few defenses you need to know about:

  • Arguing the cashier or employee made an error
  • Lack of evidence to prove intent to steal
  • Challenging witness testimony
  • Negotiating a plea deal

To successfully implement a defense strategy, you’ll need to know the facts surrounding your case, the evidence against you and which legal avenue to take.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney Now

These complicated factors need to be worked out before you reach the courtroom. While it may seem unfair, you only have a brief time to argue your case in front of a judge. This challenge is further complicated when the prosecution has obtained plenty of evidence against you. A criminal defense attorney is often necessary to combat the arguments of a skilled prosecutor. An attorney may also be able to work out an acceptable plea deal, especially when it’s your first time getting charged with shoplifting.

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

Were you arrested or charged with shoplifting 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 Office of Michele Finizio has successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting in Moorestown, Camden, Cherry Hill, Washington Township, Monroe, Mount Laurel, Medford, and throughout New Jersey. Call 856-888-9059 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 Michele Finizio Law, 9 E. Main St, Moorestown.

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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