Defenses for Shoplifting Charges in New Jersey

NJ Shoplifting Charges, Penalties, and Defenses

If you have been arrested for New Jersey Shoplifting Charges, this video will tell you about the charges you are facing, and offer a number of defense strategies that may be used to successfully resolve your case.

Degree of Crimes, Penalties for Shoplifting in New Jersey

Shoplifting in New Jersey can be charged as a second degree, third degree, or fourth degree crime, or a disorderly persons offense. The estimated “worth” of the merchandise will determine the severity of the charges and the associated penalties if you are convicted. There are certain thresholds that dictate the level of a New Jersey shoplifting offense, which are as follows:

Disorderly Persons Offense Shoplifting: the item or items must be valued at $200 or less; you can face up to 6 months in the county jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, a conviction on your criminal record, and community service.

Fourth Degree Shoplifting: the estimated worth of the merchandise falls between $200 and $500; a conviction can result in a New Jersey State Prison term of up to 18 months, a maximum fine of $10,000, and a felony charge on your criminal record.

Third Degree Shoplifting: the goods for a third degree shoplifting crime must be valued within the bracket of $500 and $75,000; potential penalties include a 3 to 5-year term of incarceration in New Jersey State Prison, a maximum fine of $15,000, and a felony charge your criminal record.

Second Degree Shoplifting: if the total value of the item or items is $75,000 or more; this is the highest level of shoplifting charge and is punishable by between 5 and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison, a maximum fine of $150,000, and you become a “convicted felon.”

Not only do the above penalties apply, but shoplifting also entails mandatory community service if you are convicted. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, the requirements for community service for shoplifting are:

  • First Shoplifting Offense: minimum of 10 days
  • Second Shoplifting Offense: minimum of 15 days
  • Third or Subsequent Shoplifting Offense: maximum of 25 days

It is also important to note that if you are convicted of your third shoplifting offense in New Jersey, this entails mandatory jail time. In fact, the state requires that you serve a minimum of 90 days in jail for your third shoplifting conviction. Another collateral consequence of a shoplifting conviction involves your immigration status, because shoplifting is a crime of moral turpitude in New Jersey.

Defense Strategies for Shoplifting in New Jersey

Although the possible results if you are convicted of shoplifting in New Jersey can be frightening, there are a number of extremely effective shoplifting defense strategies that can be used to undermine the State’s case against you. Click the links below to see how The Tormey Law Firm fights shoplifting charges in New Jersey.

At The Tormey Law Firm, our shoplifting defense attorneys have achieved countless dismissals and successful results in courts across New Jersey, including those in Paramus, Parsippany, Clifton, Millburn, and Bridgewater. With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, and Camden, our lawyers can meet you at the location nearest you, discuss your specific case, and begin building a defense that positions you for the best possible outcome. For a cost-free consultation about your New Jersey shoplifting charges, contact us today at (201)-556-1570. You can also view our video series on the Top 5 Ways To Beat Any Criminal Charge in New Jersey for more information.


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With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation. With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

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Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

The Tormey Law Firm

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Bergen County, Essex County, Morris County, Passaic County, Hudson County, Middlesex County, Somerset County including Morristown, Denville, Dover, Mount Olive, Parsippany, Hackensack, East Rutherford, Elmwood Park, Englewood, Fort Lee, Garfield, Lodi, Lyndhurst, Mahwah, Palisades Park, Paramus, Ridgefield Park, Saddle Brook, Teaneck, Clifton, and Wayne.

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