Montclair NJ Shoplifting Defense Attorney

When we envision shoplifting, we often see a person attempting to conceal an item and carry it out of a store without paying for it. However, in New Jersey, there are a number of other actions that can also be considered shoplifting, including altering a price tag or under-ringing merchandise for yourself or another person. These crimes are classified under State law as “crimes of moral turpitude,” meaning that a conviction can spell serious negative consequences for your immigration status if you are not a current U.S. citizen. Other repercussions can include significant fines, restitution payments to compensate the enterprise for financial losses, a criminal charge on your record, and even a prison sentence.

When facing a shoplifting allegation, your reputation, finances, and potentially your right to live in this country are hanging in the balance. Attorney Roy W. Breslow utilizes his over 40 years of experience practicing law in the State of New Jersey in order to achieve dismissals, downgraded charges, and enrollment in diversionary programs for his clients charged with shoplifting. Contact his Essex County offices to learn more about how Mr. Breslow can help you. Consultations are always provided free of charge.

Shoplifting in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11

Shoplifting offenses are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which states that any of the following constitutes shoplifting:

  • For any person purposely to take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.
  • For any person purposely to conceal upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof.
  • For any person purposely to alter, transfer or remove any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value thereof.
  • For any person purposely to transfer any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail merchandise establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof.
  • For any person purposely to under-ring with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value thereof.
  • For any person purposely to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart.

Shoplifing Charges in Caldwell or Essex County NJ?

The penalties associated with a shoplifting conviction are determined by the degree of the charges, which in turn, hinge on the estimated value of the alleged stolen property. The various levels of shoplifting follows are distinguished below:

  • Second Degree Shoplifting – Amounts Exceeding $75,000: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison
  • Third Degree Shoplifting – Amounts Ranging from $500 and $75,000: punishable by a term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison
  • Fourth Degree Shoplifting – Amounts Ranging from $200 to $500: punishable by a maximum term of incarceration of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison
  • Disorderly Persons Shoplifting – Amounts Less Than $200: punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 6 months in the county jail

Addressing shoplifting charges with an informed strategy is essential, as the approach to each case should be tailored to your specific circumstances. To discuss your case with Mr. Breslow, contact his offices today.