What Happens if I am Caught Shoplifting in New Jersey?

If you have been caught shoplifting, you are most likely facing very serious penalties. Read on and reach out to our knowledgeable Bergen County criminal defense attorneys to learn more about the penalties for shoplifting in New Jersey and how our firm can help you fight them. Here are some of the questions you may have regarding the legal process ahead:

What Happens if I am Caught Shoplifting in New Jersey?

What constitutes shoplifting?

New Jersey recognizes five different forms of shoplifting:

  1. Purposefully Taking Merchandise
  2. Concealment of Merchandise
  3. Altering or Transferring a Price Tag
  4. Transferring Merchandise to Another Container
  5. Under-Ringing of Merchandise

What are the consequences of shoplifting in New Jersey?

Shoplifting can be an indictable criminal offense or a disorderly persons offense depending on the amount of the alleged theft. Thus, the consequences you may face depend on the dollar value of the merchandise allegedly stolen. The higher the value allegedly stolen, the harsher the penalties. However, even if you are only convicted of a disorderly persons offense in Municipal Court, you will still have a conviction for a theft charge and thus will have a criminal record, which will show up when applying for employment. There may be serious immigration consequences as well.

The consequences of shoplifting in the state of New Jersey are generally as follows:

  • Stolen property valued less than $200: The case will be handled in the Municipal Court in the municipality in which the alleged offense occurred. In most cases, you will face a disorderly persons offense, which is a misdemeanor crime and is punishable by a sentence to serve up to 6 months in the county jail, as well as a potential $1,000 fine.

As the value of the allegedly stolen item or items increases, the charges are enhanced to the felony-level and the cases are handled in the Superior Court in the county where the alleged offense occurred and prosecuted by the county prosecutor’s office.

  • Stolen property valued between $200-$500: A 4th-degree crime, which may warrant up to 18 months in jail, as well as a potential $10,000 fine.
  • Stolen property valued between $500-$75,000: A 3rd-degree crime, which may warrant between 3-5 years in jail and a potential $15,000 fine.
  • Stolen property valued at more than $75,000: A 2nd-degree crime, which may warrant between 5-10 years in jail and a potential $150,000 fine.

If you have any additional questions or you need an attorney to effectively defend your rights, reach out to our seasoned New Jersey criminal defense attorneys today. We have helped countless individuals facing criminal penalties for alleged crimes over the years, and we are ready to do the same for you today.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

We understand how confusing certain legal issues can be, which is why we are dedicated to providing individuals with the compassionate, knowledgeable legal representation they deserve. Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman has helped clients with various difficult legal challenges for over 40 years, which is why we know we have the experience needed to do the same for you. For experienced legal counsel regarding family law, litigation, business law, real estate, and criminal law, you know where to turn–contact Aronsohn, Weiner, Salerno & Kaufman today to schedule a consultation.