Charges for shoplifting are among the most common issued in Moorestown, New Jersey, as Moorestown Mall is a busy retail center full of shops, restaurants, and even a movie theater. Since it was built in 1963, the Moorestown Mall has expanded to include stores ranging from Best Buy to Foot Locker. Unfortunately, with so many people and products, the Moorestown Mall is also diligently monitored for potential shoplifters. When you are facing charges for shoplifting after an alleged incident in Moorestown, it is critical to understand the specific charges against you, the penalties you are facing, and your legal options. William Fay is a highly skilled criminal defense attorney who has successfully defended clients charged with the most serious shoplifting and theft crimes in Burlington County and throughout South Jersey. With years of practice on his side, he has the knowledge and experience you need on yours. To speak with Mr. Fay about your shoplifting case in Moorestown or elsewhere in Burlington County, contact his office now at 609-832-3202 for a free consultation. Also, read on to learn more about the specifics of shoplifting offenses, grading, and penalties in New Jersey.
Shoplifting in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11
Shoplifting is a serious crime in New Jersey, outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. You can be charged with shoplifting for a variety of alleged actions, including the typical theft of merchandise, moving merchandise to another container, removing or altering a tag or label, or under-ringing merchandise for yourself or someone else. The grading of shoplifting offenses is similarly variable, as shoplifting can be classified is a disorderly persons offense, fourth degree crime, third degree crime, or second degree crime. The primary determinant of the grading of a shoplifting charge is the full retail value of the allegedly stolen merchandise.
The degrees and penalties for shoplifting charges as mandated under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 are as follows: Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense if the value of the merchandise is $200 or less. Disorderly persons offenses are punishable by imprisonment for up to 6 months and a maximum fine of $1,000. If the merchandise is value between $200 and $500, shoplifting is charged as a fourth degree crime, which is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Shoplifting is elevated to a third degree crime if the value of the goods is between $500 and $75,000. A conviction for third degree shoplifting may result in a sentence to serve between 3 and 5 years in NJ State Prison and a fine of up to $15,000. Lastly, the most serious charges for shoplifting are second degree, which apply in cases wherein the defendant is accused of stealing items valued at $75,000 or more. If you are found guilty of second degree shoplifting, you face a 5 to 10-year prison term and a fine of up to $150,000.
A shoplifting conviction in New Jersey also entails mandatory community service, the period of which increases and the number of previous offenses increases. In other words, for a first shoplifting offense, you must perform a minimum of 10 days of community service. For a second offense, community service for at least 15 days is required. For a third or subsequent offense, the maximum period of community service is 25 days but you are also subject to a minimum term of imprisonment of 90 days. Shoplifting is also a crime of moral turpitude under New Jersey law, which means that a conviction can spell collateral consequences for your immigration status if you are not a U.S. citizen.
Contact a Moorestown NJ Shoplifting Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting at Moorestown Mall or elsewhere in Moorestown or Burlington County, New Jersey, criminal defense lawyer William Fay can help. To discuss your specific case and the ways that you may be able to have your shoplifting charges downgraded, dismissed, or otherwise resolved, contact his offices today at 609-832-3202. Mr. Fay will be happy to answer your questions and consultations are always provided free of charge.