Shoplifting Defense Attorneys Passaic County, NJ
Serving Clients Across Little Falls, Clifton, Paterson, Wayne, West Milford, Woodland Park and Passaic County
Shoplifting is a common theft and fraud crime which involves stealing or paying less than full retail value for any item(s) from a store or shop. In New Jersey, shoplifting charges can range from simple disorderly persons all the way to a second-degree criminal felony. The grading of charges is primarily based on the value of the merchandise shoplifted. Maximum sentences may include 10 years in prison and fines of up to $150,000.
At The Montanari Law Group, we have extensive experience serving clients charged with shoplifting in local New Jersey towns including Paterson, Woodland Park, Clifton, Wayne, West Milford, Little Falls, and the greater Passaic County area. We believe in handling each case on an individual level and working with our clients to develop strong defenses which may lead to reduced or even dismissed charges.
Call our office today for a free and confidential consultation with a member of our criminal defense team regarding your shoplifting or other theft and fraud charges and to learn how we may be able to serve your needs.
Shoplifting N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11: Paterson, NJ Shoplifting Lawyers
Pursuant to New Jersey Revised Statutes Section 2C:20-11 – Shoplifting, shoplifting charges can result from any of the following actions:
- Taking possession of, carrying away, or otherwise removing any merchandise held for sale by a store or shop without paying for said merchandise. In other words, stealing merchandise from a store.
- Purposely concealing merchandise on his or her person or through other means with the intent of stealing merchandise from a store. That is to say, trying to hide goods for the purpose of stealing them.
- Removing or changing labels or price tags from merchandise with the intent of paying less than full retail value.
- Removing merchandise from its original container and putting it in another container with the intent of paying less than full retail value.
- Intentionally skipping items or scanning items in such a way that they would not pay full retail value at check out counters.
- Theft or removal of a shopping cart from a store or shop without the consent of the owner.
Clifton, NJ Shoplifting and Petty Theft Attorneys Discuss Penalties
As mentioned previously, the gradation of shoplifting penalties is dependent on the material value of the merchandise shoplifted. It is also dependent on whether or not the offense was committed “in furtherance of or in conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise”. Here are the grades and associated penalties for shoplifting in New Jersey.
Second-degree shoplifting charges will result from theft of retail value in excess of $75,000 or was part of an organized retail theft enterprise with full retail value in excess of $1,000. Convictions may lead to five (5) to ten (10) years in state prison and fines up to $150,000.
Third-degree shoplifting charges will result from theft between $500 and $75,000 in full retail value or was part of an organized retail theft enterprise with full retail value being less than $1,000. Convictions may lead to three (3) to five (5) years in prison with maximum fines of $15,000.
Fourth-degree shoplifting charges may result from shoplifting between $200 and $500 of merchandise. Convictions may lead to up to 18 months in state prison with fines reaching $10,000.
Disorderly persons shoplifting charges may result from theft of merchandise with a full retail value less than $200. Convictions may lead to up to six (6) months in county jail, community service, and restitution for the victim(s).
Additionally, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, convictions of shoplifting will lead to community service.
- First offense – ten or more days of community service
- Second offense – 15 days or more of community service
- Third or subsequent offense – Maximum 25 days of community service and any person convicted of a third or subsequent shoplifting offense shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days.
Building a Defense for Shoplifting Charges in Passaic County
For all gradations of shoplifting which are of a third-degree or lesser, there is a presumption of non-incarceration for first-time offenders. This means that if you have no prior convictions and you are facing disorderly persons, fourth-degree, or third-degree shoplifting charges, our Wayne attorneys will likely be able to have your jail or prison sentence changed to community service, probation, or a form of the New Jersey Pretrial Intervention Program.
There are also factors in many shoplifting cases which may be argued. For example, if you did not actually steal anything and were arrested for the “intent” to shoplift, it can be argued that it was a misunderstanding and your intent was never to truly shoplift the merchandise in question.
Another huge factor in gradation of charges is being associated with “an organized retail theft enterprise”. For $50 worth of stolen goods, this distinction is the difference between disorderly persons and third-degree shoplifting charges. If this part of the law has been used against you, our criminal defense lawyers will aim to show that you are not part of any such group and have your charges reduced.
Contact our Little Falls Shoplifting and Theft Attorneys Today
At The Montanari Law Group, our criminal defense attorneys have experience working with clients charged with shoplifting and other theft-related crimes across New Jersey towns including Wayne, Clifton, Paterson, Little Falls, Woodland Park, West Milford, and the greater Passaic County region.
Lean on our intimate knowledge of New Jersey criminal law to seek reduced or dismissed charges in your shoplifting or other theft charges. Contact us online or through our Little Falls offices by calling (973) 233-4396 to speak with a member of our legal team in a free and confidential consultation regarding your shoplifting case and how we can best serve you.