Don’t Take a Shoplifting Charge Lightly
You may think shoplifting is a minor crime. And who is going to notice stealing one small item, especially since the store is filled with the same item. Although shoplifting might not carry the same punishments as a crime like assault and battery, it is still a crime and you can still expect to face a strict punishment.
In legal terms, shopliftings is a theft offense in New Jersey. However, your punishment is decided on how much value the item stole is worth. And yes, even if the merchandise stole was only a couple dollars, you will still be charged and can even face jail time.
Here is how the punishment for shoplifting is determined:
- For merchandise less than $200 – This is generally the most common of shoplifting charges. If the retail value of the item you allegedly stole is less than $200, the punishment in New Jersey is a fine of up to $1,000, community service and a jail sentence of up to 180 days.
- For merchandise between $200 and $500 – If you are found guilty, your punishment will be 18 months of jail plus a fine of up to $10,000 and community service.
- For merchandise more than $500 but less than $75,000 – This is considered a third degree crime. This means that you can expect 3-5 years in jail, a fine of up to $15,000 and community service.
- For merchandise more than $1,000 and committed by two or more people or $75,000 committed by one person – This is considered a second degree crime. That means you can expect to receive a 5-10 year prison sentence, a fine of $150,000 and community service.
In addition to these punishments, you will be required to do community service as part of your punishment. The number of days depends on whether it’s your first, second, or third offense.
But what if you were accused of shoplifting but didn’t commit the offense? Well then, you need to call an experienced criminal defense attorney right away. Here at the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we have been handling cases such as shoplifting for 26 years. We know how to fix the situation. Contact us today for a free consultation.