Wayne NJ Shoplifting Defense Lawyers
NJSA 2C:20-11 charges in Wayne, New Jersey
The criminal defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm recently succeeded in getting shoplifting charges dismissed on behalf of a client in Wayne Municipal Court. Shoplifting charges in New Jersey can carry severe penalties. In fact, depending on the value of the merchandise alleged to be stolen, shoplifting can potentially be a second degree crime, subjecting the defendant to a potential ten year term of imprisonment if found guilty. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense if the alleged value of the item is $200.00 or less; a fourth degree crime if the alleged value of the item is between $200.00 and $500.00; a third degree crime if the alleged value is between $500.00 and $75,000.00; and a second degree crime if the alleged value is over $75,000.00. Additionally, anyone found guilty of shoplifting will also be required to complete community service on top of the regular fines and penalties and “any person convicted of a third or subsequent shoplifting offense shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days.”
Under the New Jersey Criminal Code, shoplifting can take many forms. For example, it is considered shoplifting for a person to take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away any merchandise without paying the full retail value. But shoplifting can also be charged if there is an allegation that the defendant concealed merchandise with the intention to deprive the merchant of the possession of the item without paying for it, removing labels or price tags to attempt to purchase the merchandise at less than retail price, or even taking a shopping cart away from store premises. However, regardless of the nature of the alleged shoplifting offense, a person can only be found guilty of shoplifting if the prosecutor can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
In the recent shoplifting case that was dismissed, the strategy was simple: don’t budge until the prosecutor provides loss prevention reports and surveillance footage regarding the alleged shoplifting offense. The Tormey Law Firm shoplifting defense attorneys requested the discovery at the outset of the case, appeared in court on three separate occasions over the span of five months and ultimately prevailed in having the case dismissed because no discovery was provided and because a representative from the store did not appear in court to pursue the matter. Accordingly, the court granted our motion to dismiss the case. If you have been charged with shoplifting, contact the shoplifting defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm to discuss your case and your defense strategies.