South Jersey Shoplifting Lawyer
Dedicated Criminal Defense Lawyer Works to Safeguard Clients’ Rights in Camden County Shoplifting Cases
Although being arrested for shoplifting or charged with shoplifting can be extremely traumatic, shoplifting charges do not necessarily have to result in conviction for the crime. Numerous defense strategies can be used by a skilled shoplifting defense lawyer to build a compelling case to negotiate reduced charges or even have your charges dismissed in some cases. Despite this, New Jersey courts are generally known for being tough on theft-related crimes such as shoplifting, making it important that you consult with a criminal defense lawyer who understands the potential consequences of a shoplifting conviction and has the resources necessary to build the right defense in your case.
At Gelman Law, LLC, our experienced theft crime defense team will formulate a customized defense for you, based upon the specific evidence and charges involved in your case, and we will fight every step of the way to maximize our chances of reducing the charges and penalties that you face. We are uniquely positioned to build a strong defense in your case because we have experience working both in the Burlington County prosecutor’s office and on the defense side of the table. We put those skills to work in every shoplifting case we take on, so if you have been arrested or charged in Cherry Hill or the surrounding communities, call or contact our office so that we can go to work for you.
Defining Shoplifting Under New Jersey Law
Shoplifting is the charge that will apply to a number of theft-based crimes, including situations where you are accused of:
- Intentionally taking merchandise from a store without paying,
- Concealing merchandise with the intent to steal that merchandise without paying full value,
- Altering or changing a price tag with the intent to avoid paying full value,
- Transferring merchandise into another package to avoid paying full value,
- Under-ringing merchandise with the intent that the merchandise will be removed from the store for less than its fair and full value.
Punishment for Shoplifting Depends Upon the Value of the Stolen Goods
Under New Jersey law, the potential penalties for a shoplifting conviction will vary based upon the value of the alleged stolen goods, as follows:
- Disorderly persons offense. Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense if the items stolen were valued at under $200. This means you could face up to six months’ jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, probation and mandatory community service (a minimum of ten days’ community service will apply if convicted).
- Fourth-degree offense. If the items stolen were valued at between $200 and $500, penalties for a fourth-degree crime may apply, meaning you could face up to $10,000 in fines, 18 months in prison and mandatory community service.
- Third-degree offense. If the items stolen were valued at between $500 and $75,000, penalties for a third-degree crime may apply, meaning you could face up to five years in prison and mandatory community service. If the shoplifting was committed in connection with an organized retail theft enterprise, third-degree charges will apply if the item was valued at less than $1,000.
- Second-degree offense. If the item was valued at over $75,000, shoplifting can be punished as a second-degree crime, meaning that you will face a prison term of between five and ten years and substantial fines.
Experienced Shoplifting Defense Lawyer at Gelman Law, LLC Committed to Building the Strongest Possible Defense in Every Case
Because potential employers, landlords, educational institutions, banks and even professional licensing boards can gain access to your criminal record easily, it is important to take all possible steps to avoid conviction if you have been arrested for shoplifting. At Gelman Law, LLC, we take your future seriously and will jump into action as soon as you retain our services to help minimize the potential negative consequences that a shoplifting conviction can carry.
Immediately after your arrest, we will seek to obtain your release from custody on your own recognizance or reduced bail costs. Afterword, we conduct a full and independent investigation of all charges against you to determine the defense strategy that best suits your specific case, such as whether there was police misconduct involved in your case. Examples of these potential defenses include:
- Illegal search and seizure,
- Illegal arrest,
- Mistaken identity,
- Racial profiling,
- Fabricated testimony, or
- Faulty forensic testing.
Call Today to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation to Discuss Options in Your Burlington County Shoplifting Case
If you have been arrested for shoplifting in Cherry Hill or elsewhere in New Jersey, you don’t have to attempt to navigate the criminal justice system on your own. At Gelman Law, LLC, we will work tirelessly to help prevent a permanent criminal record and help you retain your eligibility for jobs, housing and even government assistance and education programs. Our experienced shoplifting defense attorneys will begin working immediately to prepare your defense and protect your rights. Call or contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss defense opportunities in your case.
Frequently Asked Questions About New Jersey Shoplifting Charges
FAQ: Is it possible to have my shoplifting charges downgraded from third-degree status to a disorderly persons offense?
The short answer is, it depends. New Jersey has adopted a law that generally prevents downgrading a shoplifting offense charged as a third-degree crime to a disorderly persons offense (i.e., disorderly persons-level crime) if the items that were allegedly stolen were valued at $2,000 or more. Because of this directive, valuation tends to become much more important in these cases and it could be possible to negotiate for reduced charges under certain circumstances.
FAQ: Do I have to go to jail if I am convicted of shoplifting and the charge was a disorderly persons offense?
Not necessarily. Our lawyer will argue vigorously against the imposition of jail time using all of the available evidence in your case, but the imposition of jail time may ultimately depend strongly upon your prior criminal history. In New Jersey, if you are facing a third or subsequent conviction for shoplifting (even if the charge is a disorderly persons offense), a mandatory 90-day jail term will apply in addition to other potential penalties.