Most people who are charged with shoplifting regret their decision immediately after. A large percentage of people who receive shoplifting charges are teenagers who may not realize the impact these kinds of charges will have on their futures. These charges can follow you around and affect your employment opportunities. So, if there a way for shoplifting charges to get dismissed? Continue reading to find out.
What is a Diversion Program?
New Jersey offers a diversion program. While the program has been previously applied to first-time drug charge offenses, it is also available to first-time shoplifting offenders. The diversion program is a conditional dismissal that is available for charges classified as a disorderly persons offense.
Because shoplifting falls into this category, it also qualifies for the New Jersey diversion program.
Who Qualifies for the Conditional Dismissal Program?
Offenders must meet several requirements to qualify for the program:
- Must be a first-time offender. This means you cannot have any previous convictions.
- You do not have a record of any prior Conditional Discharges or Dismissals. This means that you cannot have had charges discharged under a similar program.
The dismissal must also be approved by the courts. If the courts approve the request, then they will drop the charges.
How to File for the Conditional Dismissal Program
If the Conditional Dismissal program is right for you, then you can take the following steps to file:
- File the form along with the $75 fee
- Pay all court costs
- Avoid any other charges in the local court, as well as other courts
- Follow all requirements set by the judge
Depending on the details of your case, the judge may require that you complete additional steps, such as counseling sessions. In order for your charges to be dismissed, you will have to meet all requirements set by the judge. But, once you complete these, the charges will officially be dropped.
You may decide to work with a criminal defense lawyer to assist you in filing for Conditional Dismissal. A criminal record has severe consequences in New Jersey, including potential jail time. It can also prevent you from working in certain industries, like teaching. Ensuring that you qualify for the program and that you complete all of the required steps is important in removing the criminal charges.
Avoid Additional Charges Following the Dismissal
While the Conditional Dismissal program is a good way to overcome a mistake, it is only available once. If you are charged again with shoplifting, you will no longer be eligible for the program. This includes the addition of other charges. The courts will always have access to your records and if you find yourself in further trouble, they will have access to the shoplifting charge.
If you are charged a second time for shoplifting, you can usually expect the consequences to be more severe. This makes it even more important to contact a criminal defense lawyer. We know how frustrating and confusing it can be navigating the New Jersey criminal defense system. Your future is at risk and you need a lawyer who is not only familiar with the state’s laws but who is also knowledgeable of available programs like the Conditional Dismissal program.
Contact an Experienced Mount Laurel 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 law attorney as soon as possible about your case. The Law Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Pemberton, 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.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.