Hunterdon County Shoplifting Lawyers
The criminal offense of shoplifting is popular in Hunterdon County. The municipality with the highest number of offenders charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 by far is Flemington. Many of these crimes happen at Liberty Village Outlet Marketplace, Costco, Home Depot, Walmart and Lowes Home Improvement. The secondary venues for retail theft in the area are Clinton Township and Raritan Township. Irrespective of where in the county you got arrested for shoplifting, you are doing the wise thing researching attorneys to help you. Being represented by a highly knowledgeable criminal defense attorney will be a key factor in avoiding a criminal record for shoplifting, the possibility of incarceration and various other repercussions.
Charged With Shoplifting in Hunterdon County, NJ
A shoplifting conviction depends upon the law according to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. A person can be charged with a disorderly persons offense in municipal court or an indictable felony crime of the second, third or fourth degree for breaking this law, depending on the full retail value of the merchandise in question. A person commits shoplifting if, with intention of depriving the merchant of their merchandise or their value, they:
- Remove merchandise from a store
- Conceal the merchandise
- Exchange, deface or remove price tags
- Modify the box, packaging or container
- Under-ring merchandise
- Take a shopping cart of the merchant’s property
If the value of the items in question is less than $200, then it is a disorderly persons offense. This charge would come under the jurisdiction of a local municipal court like the ones in Tewksbury or Readington. If the goods are valued at more than $200 but lower than $500, then the shoplifting is a fourth-degree offense that can only be handled at the Hunterdon County Superior Court in Flemington. The same is true for more serious degrees of shoplifting like a third-degree offense for merchandise valued from $500 to $75,000) or second-degree (i.e. $75,000 and up).
What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in Hunterdon County, NJ
The penalties for shoplifting vary based on the degree of the charge. For a disorderly persons offense, shoplifting can get you 6 months in jail and a max fine of $1,000. At the county courthouse in Flemington, a judge can impose up to 18 months in prison and a fine as high as $10,000 for a fourth-degree shoplifting charge. Third-degree shoplifting carries up to 5 years in prison and a fine of as much as $15,000. A second-degree shoplifting is pretty rare. It carries penalties of 5-10 years of incarceration and a possible $150,000 fine. You should also know that a person is required to serve a minimum 90 days upon conviction for a third or higher shoplifting offense.
Fortunately, there are two diversionary programs available to first-time offenders. Conditional dismissal applies to a shoplifting offense that comes under the degree of a disorderly persons offense. Pretrial Intervention (PTI) is the program that applies to indictable crimes of the third or fourth degree for shoplifting. A knowledgeable defense lawyer can help you gain admission into either of these programs.
Shoplifting Attorneys in Flemington, NJ
The wake of a shoplifting arrest can be a confusing time. Bringing an attorney in who has extensive knowledge and experience dealing with these charges can eliminate a considerable amount of stress. Spodek Law Group has exactly what you need with a formidable team of accomplished criminal attorneys that have been defending retail theft charges in Hunterdon County for decades. Call us today to speak to an attorney.