It is fairly common for children and teens to shoplift at one time or another and the consequences are usually not too serious. Most parents make their child apologize to the store owner, return the item and promise to never steal anything again. Some parents want their child’s shoplifting experience to be more memorable and may even let the police be called to shake them up a bit. It’s safe to say that most kids who shoplift do not spend any real time in jail, but if you are an adult who has been caught shoplifting on one or more occasions, you may find yourself facing serious penalties such as hefty fines and even jail time. If you live in New Jersey and have been cited or arrested for shoplifting, you may need to enlist the help of experienced criminal lawyer Anthony Carbone.
Since most shoplifting charges are not felonies, most are heard in a New Jersey municipal court. Mr. Carbone has more than 30 years of experience in helping New Jersey residents get a shoplifting charge dismissed or at least avoid maximum punishment. He is a talented and skillful municipal court lawyer who will take your case as seriously as you do and will fight tooth and nail to save your career and reputation and to secure your freedom. The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, P.C. can provide tough legal representation in court but will work diligently to settle your case without going to court.
Shoplifting Charges and Penalties
The law and penalties for shoplifting in New Jersey hinge on which grade of shoplifting has been charged.
- The statute for second-degree shoplifting indicates “… the items stolen have a value of $75,000 or more, or where the offense is committed in conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise and involves merchandise valued at $1,000 or more.” If found guilty of second-degree shoplifting, the offender faces 5-10 years in prison.
- The third-degree shoplifting statute applies if merchandise with a value of between $500 $75,000 has been stolen. The law also provides for a third-degree charge whenever an incident of shoplifting “involves an organized retail theft enterprise and merchandise with a value of $1,000 or less.” A third-degree shoplifting charge could mean five years in jail and is the most frequent type of shoplifting charge in New Jersey.
- A conviction for fourth-degree shoplifting can include up to 18 months of jail time and a fine up to $10,000. If convicted of this charge, you must also serve at least 10 days of community service for a first offense, 15 days for a second offense, and 25 days for a third or subsequent offense.
In some cases, a shoplifting charge may be downgraded to a disorderly persons charge, and the penalties for this conviction vary from case to case and may result in fines, jail time, community service or some combination of those penalties.
If you live in Newark, Jersey City, New Jersey or the surrounding area, please contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, P.C. today to schedule a free consultation so we may hear the details of your charge and proceed with planning your defense.