In New Jersey, shoplifting, in general terms, is a misdemeanor or a disorderly person’s offense, that would be heard in the town where the offense took place. Although the shoplifting may involve the theft, potential theft or attempted theft of something small like a dollar bottle of shampoo, or it can also involve a much larger amount of goods. Either way, the penalties and consequences associated with shoplifting are the same. A first offense for shoplifting normally carries along a fine and a ban from that particular store. Although, depending upon the set of circumstances in your particular case, there is the potential of a probationary period associated with a shoplifting conviction.
Subsequent convictions for shoplifting can rise to the level that involves time in the county jail. Sometimes shoplifting cases turn into a more serious offense such as theft or robbery depending upon the circumstances related to the facts of your shoplifting case. If the shoplifting involved the pushing or touching of a security guard, you may find yourself charged with a second degree felony of robbery despite the fact that it’s nothing more than a mere shoplifting gone bad. In any event, the consequences of a charge of that nature are very, very significant, including the potential for a state prison sentence.
A consultation with an experienced New Jersey crimes attorney is a must prior to proceeding on a theft, shoplifting, or robbery case. That attorney may be able to find, in your particular case, ways, that although your shoplifting has turned into a more significant charge, to get it back to what it initially was of a shoplifting. At that point, you can deal with the case what it is; a shoplifting charge where the consequences are much less significant than a theft or robbery charge.
Keith Hirschorn, P.C., is an experienced criminal defense attorney working throughout the state of New Jersey. If you have any questions regarding the merits, facts or circumstances of your case, call the law office, located in Hoboken, to set up a free initial consultation.