Hunterdon County Shoplifting Lawyers
Charged with Shoplifting in Hunterdon County: Avoiding Serious Consequences
The criminal act of shoplifting is a prevalent occurrence in Hunterdon County, with the municipality of Flemington having the highest number of offenders charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 by far. This situation occurs mostly at shopping centers such as Liberty Village Outlet Marketplace, Costco, Home Depot, Walmart, and Lowes Home Improvement in Flemington. However, similar offenses can occur anywhere else within Hunterdon County’s boundaries. In any event, if you ever find yourself arrested for theft in Hunterdon County, it would be wise to research attorneys that are knowledgeable and experienced enough to help you fight the accusations leveled against you. Being represented by an attorney familiar with criminal defense law will be vital in avoiding negative outcomes such as a criminal record for shoplifting or even possible incarceration.
The Offense of Shoplifting in Hunterdon County
Any conviction for shoplifting revolves around N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 law provisions. Offenses under this statute may be classified as either a disorderly persons offense heard at municipal courts or an indictable felony crime graded according to the value of the merchandise stolen (second, third or fourth degree). According to legal definitions provided under this law section, one is guilty of retail theft when they commit one or several acts out of a list including removing store merchandise without paying its full price; hiding concealed items on their person; modifying price tags or labels; altering seller packaging; taking advantage of merchant pricing codes with intent to defraud; or holding onto shopping carts not belonging to them.
The value of the items taken determines whether a perpetrator has committed shoplifted goods that fall within disorderly persons offenses bracket (less than $200) handled at local municipal courts like Tewksbury and Readington’s ones in Hunterdon County (more than $200) are processed under felony indictable crimes heard at the Hunterdon County Superior Court in Flemington. If the merchandise’s value is estimated to fall between $500 and $75,000, the offense becomes categorized as third-degree shoplifting; if it is above $75,000, it plummets to a second-degree felony.
Penalties for Shoplifting Crimes in Hunterdon County
The court imposes various penalties for shoplifting that depend on degree level. For disorderly persons offenses, thieves can incur up to 6 months behind bars and receive fines amounting to a ceiling of $1,000. In comparison, fourth-degree blemishes incur total costs of up to a maximum of eighteen months’ imprisonment and top-off fines worth $10,000. Suppose an offender shoplifts goods valued at between $500 and $75,000 (third-degree theft). In that case, they risk receiving approximately five years minimum suspended imprisonment plus fines ranging from $1000 to $15000.
Second-degree shoplifting cases qualify more for awards than prison sentences since they only arise if it involves thefts worth over seventy-five thousand dollars. However, if one ends up with such charges landing on his or her doorstep after being sentenced before a judge in any New Jersey court system jurisdiction (Municipal or Felony), he or she may face mandatory incarceration periods ranging from five years with fines reaching levels of over one hundred fifty thousand dollars.
Fortunately for first-time offenders accused of retail theft offenses within Hunterdon County borders; two diversionary programs exist under which eligible defendants may seek participation Proving successful passage through programs like pretrial intervention (PTI) for high-level crime allegations or Conditional Dismissal offered under disorderly person manifestos automatically removes the defendant’s criminal record following completion of programs’ requirements.
Shoplifting Defense Lawyers Available in Fleming Town
You become confused when charged with shoplifting charges against you. Fortunately, defense lawyers specializing in shoplifting charges are your bet for minimizing stressful situations. One such firm is the Spodek Law Group, which has some of Hunterdon County’s most experienced criminal defense attorneys. These highly knowledgeable lawyers have successfully defended clients in hundreds of shoplifting cases within the county over time, utilizing their unparalleled experiences to provide exceptional representation when dealing with such legal issues. Call our offices today to get in touch with an attorney for a swift resolution of the issue you’re facing.
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