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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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“First class representation. Michele was my son’s attorney after he made a slight but bad decision that hurt no one, but one that potentially could have a caused a lifetime of employment problems in the future, despite having a four year college degree. First of all Michele was very proactive in protecting his rights. Rights we were not even aware of. She provided quick and reliable answers to our questions. Before we met with her our anxiety and worry was insatiable. The peace we felt after our first consultation alleviated all that and we knew we picked the right attorney. Her excellent negotiation skills resulted in a settling his case quickly and without conviction.

We owe a debt of gratitude for her service. I was shocked at how much she was able to do for my son. She is a solid lawyer who is honest and works to insure the best possible outcome for her client is achieved.”
- Former Client

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- Former Client

“I could not had ask for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my case and the case of those I’ve recommended as if we were part of her family. She gave it all she had, made her voice and case be heard in court and made it count, and we had the best possible outcome, thanks to her experience and expertise. Thank you very much for an outstanding job.”
- D.A.

"Michele is an outstanding, no “beating around the bush” lawyer. She has done a remarkable job as a lawyer for me. Before Michele, I did not get along with Criminal Lawyers – she comes HIGHLY recommended by me to anyone who needs a Criminal Lawyer."
- C.O.
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