The idea of shoplifting has managed to become to some what would be considered a harmless crime, or a crime that is committed by reckless teenagers. However, shoplifting is still theft of the the property of another person, and in New Jersey shoplifting can get you a brand new wardrobe. Unfortunately, that wardrobe is supplied by the jail and doesn’t come in many different colors or sizes.
Is Shoplifting a Disorderly Persons Offense, or is it a Crime?
Many people are familiar with the idea of felonies and misdemeanors. Misdemeanors are not as serious as felonies. In New Jersey, however, these distinctions do not exist. Rather, there are disorderly persons offenses, and crimes with different degrees. Disorderly persons offenses are similar to misdemeanors: the punishments are not as severe and the offenses themselves are often minor. Crimes, on the other hand, are much more severe in terms of their associated punishments and tend to involve more serious offenses.
Whether a person charged with shoplifting is charged with a disorderly persons offense or a crime generally depends upon the value of the merchandise taken. If the value of the merchandise is less than $200, the charge will likely be a disorderly persons offense. Once the value exceeds $200, the charge is a crime, and the degree of the crime depends upon the value of the item or items taken:
- $200-$500 worth of property stolen is a 4th degree crime
- More than $500 but less than $75,000 is a 3rd degree crime
- More than $75,000 in stolen property is a 2nd degree crime, which is the highest charge possible for shoplifting
What Sort of Punishment Accompanies Shoplifting Charges in Pemberton?
If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense because the value of the property you took was less than $200, the maximum amount of jail time you can face is six months, and the maximum fine you’ll have to pay is $1,000. If you have been charged with the 4th degree crime of shoplifting, you are facing up to 18 months in jail and a maximum $25,000 fine, and every step up in degree increases the chances of more jail time and larger fines.
Additionally, anyone charged with shoplifting for a second time will receive a minimum of 15 days of community service in addition to the other punishments available. Individuals that are charged for a third time (as well as for subsequent times) receive a minimum of 90 days in jail. Remember, however, that judges have some discretion in determining sentence length, meaning that they can give more jail time or more community service if the situation warrants.
Contact an Experienced Camden 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 Law Office of Michele Finizio has successfully represented clients charged with shoplifting in Burlington Township, Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Camden and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 230-0374 or fill out our confidential online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
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.