On November 9, 2018, 23-year-old Jihaad Haskins of Newark was stopped by Lieutenant Guensch of the Millburn Police Department after Lieutenant Guensch observed him walking down the right lane of JFK Highway. After Lieutenant Guensch effectuated the stop, he conducted an investigation, wherein he allegedly found eight items worth an aggregate amount of $305.50 in Haskins’ possession. These items, according to police, had been stolen from a nearby Macy’s department store. After finding these items in Haskins’ possession, Lieutenant Guensch arrested Haskins. Currently, Haskins is remanded to the Essex County Correctional Facility. At this point, it is unclear whether the Haskins will be charged with any criminal offenses by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. However, based on the facts already available to the public, it appears as though Haskins, if he is charged with any criminal offense related to the events that transpired on November 9, 2018, may be charged with the crime of shoplifting.
New Jersey’s Shoplifting Statute
According to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, the state statute defining the crime of shoplifting, a person commits shoplifting if he or she performs the following acts:
- If the person purposefully takes possession of, carries away, transfers, or causes to be carried away or transferred any item displayed, held, stored, or offered by a store with the intent of depriving the store (or store owner) of the possession, use, or benefit of the item without paying for the item;
- If the person conceals the item with the intent of depriving the store (or store owner) of the possession, use, or benefit of the item without paying for the item;
- If the person purposefully alters, transfers, or removes any label or price tag indicating the item’s fixed retail price with the intent of obtaining the item at a price less than its full retail value;
- If the person places an item displayed, held, stored, or offered by a store in a container different from the container in which the item is displayed, held, stored, or offered with the intent to obtaining the item for less than its full retail value; or
- If the person takes a shopping cart out of a store without the consent of the store (or store owner) with the intent to deprive the store of that shopping cart permanently.
Depending on the aggregate value of the items taken from a store, the crime of shoplifting is graded differently. If the value of the items taken from a store is less than $200, then the shoplifting charge that arises from this theft would only be graded as a disorderly persons offense. This is one of the lowest graded offense one can be charged with in New Jersey. However, if the amount of the items taken from the store is $75,000 or more, then the shoplifting charge will be graded as an indictable crime of the second degree, the second most severe offense grade established by New Jersey law.
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 As Applied To Haskins
If Haskins is indeed charged with shoplifting based on the items allegedly found on his person on November 9, 2018, then the value of the items found as well as his prior criminal history will play a role in the potential penalty he faces if convicted of the crime. As stated above, the aggregate value of the items allegedly found on Haskins’ person was $305.05. Accordingly, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, the grading of the shoplifting offense with which Haskins could be charged is an indictable crime of the fourth degree, which carries a prison sentence of up to 18 months. Moreover, a review of New Jersey criminal docket entries reveals that just last year, Haskins pleaded guilty to a shoplifting offense and was sentenced for this conviction on January 26, 2018. Since this new offense would be at least his second offense, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 mandates that Haskins, if convicted, must perform 15 days of community service in addition to any term of imprisonment a court imposes on him.
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 Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting charges in Moorestown, Camden, Mount Laurel, Burlington Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 599-5519 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 offices located in Cherry Hill.
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.