Shoplifting consists of six different types of proscribed conduct. If you are charged with and convicted of committing one of these types of conduct, you are facing a criminal conviction and possible felony record. Additionally, you could be subject to mandatory incarceration at the Burlington County Jail or a New Jersey State Prison. For those of you who are here in this country on a temporary basis, you could be subject to deportation based on a shoplifting conviction. Shoplifting charges carry various negative consequences and should not be taken lightly.
Yes. While the typical penalties for shoplifting include imprisonment, community service, fines, and probation, you are also subject to ancillary immigration issues. If the Defendant is not a United States Citizen, they could be subject to detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and subsequent deportation proceedings because shoplifting has been determined to be a “crime of moral turpitude.” You should consult with a criminal defense lawyer before you enter any guilty pleas to a shoplifting offense in New Jersey.
Mount Laurel NJ Shoplifting Laws
Shoplifting is one of the most commonly filed criminal charges in New Jersey. However, many people do not realize exactly what qualifies as shoplifting under New Jersey’s Shoplifting law N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11.As mentioned above, there are six (6) types of conduct that may be considered shoplifting in New Jersey. They are as follows:
Purposeful Taking Away of Merchandise
♦ This is the most basic and common form of shoplifting. Essentially, it involves those cases where a person who purposely takes possession of, carries away, transfers away, or causes to be transferred any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail establishment. Here, the defendant must do this with the intent of depriving the merchant of the use or benefit of the merchandise or converting the merchandise to the use of the person without paying the full retail value to the merchant. ♦ “Merchandise” means any goods, chattels, foodstuffs, or wares of any type and description regardless of value.
♦ This version of shoplifting requires the defendant to purposely conceal upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any retail establishment with no intention to pay for the goods. In this scenario the defendant will not have left the store but instead be caught while still inside. Additionally, because defendants may attempt to “lie” their way out of a shoplifting charge by claiming they “were going to pay it”, the law allows for presumptions on your intent based on the facts. For more information on these presumptions, consult with an attorney.
Purposeful Altering or Transfer of Price Tag
♦ This is fairly straightforward. Here, the defendant is caught altering, transferring or removing any label, price tag, or marking, indicia of value, or other markings which aid in determining the value of any merchandise.
Purposeful Transfer of Merchandise to Another Container
♦ In this scenario, the police officer or store security is claiming that the defendant purposely transferred merchandise from its display container into another container with intent to deprive the owner of all or part of the value. An example of this would be placing an expensive bottle of wine into a cheaper bottles packaging.
Purposeful Under-Ringing of Merchandise
♦ In the Fifth scenario, the defendant will purposely under-ring merchandise so as to deprive the owner of the full value. This may be done by a store clerk who is working with another person to steal from the store.
Purposeful Removal of Shopping Cart
♦ The final form of shoplifting conduct is the rarest of them all. Generally, this occurs when a person purposely removes a shopping cart from the premises of a retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of the removal. The defendant must do this with the intent of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of the cart.
Bordentown NJ Shoplifting Penalties
Under New Jersey law, shoplifting charges will vary in severity depending upon the value of the items involved. The shoplifting statute has a grading system similar to theft. It is a second degree felony offense if the full retail value of the merchandise is $75,000 or more. It is a third degree felony offense if the full retail value of the merchandise exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000. It is a fourth degree felony offense if the full retail value of the merchandise exceeds $200 but is less than $500. Lastly, it is a disorderly persons offense if the full retail value of the merchandise is less than $200.
The penalties for these offenses may vary anywhere from 10 years in State Prison down to six (6) months in the Burlington County Jail. Contact our office for more information.
Is There Mandatory Jail For Shoplifting in New Jersey?
Any person convicted of a shoplifting offense must be sentenced to perform community service for a first offense for at least 10 days; for a second offense at least 15 days; and for a third or subsequent offense for a maximum of 25 days of community service and a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than ninety (90) days. Depending on your criminal record of the facts of your case, we may be able to help you avoid incarceration, please contact our office at 609-850-8284 today for consultation.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted.