Update: We are fully operational and working remotely amidst COVID-19. Our attorneys are available to provide you with a free consultation 24/7. Call or contact us online today.

Free Initial Consultation Available 24 / 7 All Major Credit Cards Accepted 1200 Route 22 East, Suite 2000, Bridgewater, NJ 08807 908-533-1064

Shoplifting

Contact us for a free consultation and our attorneys will assist you immediately

schedule consultation
William A ProettaReviewsout of 30 reviews Keith G OliverReviewsout of 55 reviews

Shoplifting Lawyer in Somerset County New Jersey

Shoplifting Lawyers in Somerset County NJMost of our clients that are charged with shoplifting in Somerset County will be dealing with the criminal justice system for the very first time. The attorneys at Proetta & Oliver are well aware that this will be an extremely stressful time for most. However, we also understand that hiring the right attorney, one who not only knows how to defend these types of charges but one that has experience dealing with the specific courts involved can go a long way to alleviating some of the stress. If you have been charged with shoplifting, receiving stolen property, theft by deception, theft of services, theft of movable property or any other offense for that matter in Somerset County, the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help.

Looking to Consult with a Local Somerville Attorney about Shoplifting Case

We have been defending clients accused of shoplifting in towns throughout Somerset County, including towns like Bound Brook, South Bound Brook, Bridgewater, North Plainfield, Watchung and Somerville for years now. Our attorneys have probably handled more than a thousand shoplifting charges throughout their careers. If you would like to come into our office and speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys about your options then please contact us at (908)533-1064. We can discuss the specifics of your case and formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs. Our initial consultations are always free of costs, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. Now here is some more information on the offense of shoplifting in New Jersey.

What to Know about Shoplifting Cases in New Jersey

Shoplifting is another one of those hybrid offense in New Jersey, just like almost every other theft related offense. That means that the offense can be considered either a disorderly persons offense, which is more commonly known as a misdemeanor or an indictable offense, which is more commonly known as a felony. In fact, shoplifting can be considered either a second, third or fourth degree indictable offense. As will be discussed in greater detail below, the degree of the charge will be dictated solely based on the dollar amount of the merchandise in question. It is important to note here, that even if the individual does not actually make off with any of the merchandise, and in turn, there is no actual loss, they can still be charged with shoplifting and the dollar amount of the potential loss will control in dictating the degree of the charge. 

What Does the Prosecutor Have to Prove for a Shoplifting Case in NJ?

All shoplifting charges in New Jersey will be governed by NJSA 2C:20-11b. The statute is rather lengthy and complex as it was meant to cover wide variety of potential conduct. But in essence, it covers a situation in which a Defendant removes merchandise from a store without paying for the items. In order to be convicted of shoplifting in New Jersey, the state must prove the following elements:

  • That the Defendant purposely:
    • Took possession of;
    • Carried away;
    • Caused to be carried away;
    • Transferred;
    • Caused to be transferred;
  • Merchandise that was offered for sale by the store (“victim”); &
  • That Defendant did so with the purpose of depriving the store of the merchandise.

Will I go to Jail for Shoplifting in NJ?

As touched upon above, the offense of shoplifting in New Jersey can either be a disorderly persons offense or a second, third or fourth degree felony. Anyone charged with a disorderly persons offense shoplifting charges will need to answer for those charges in the local municipal court in the municipality where the offense happened. Conversely, anyone charged with a felony version of shoplifting will need to defend those charges in the Somerset County Superior Court, which is located in Somerville. With that being said, depending on the facts of the case and the defendant’s underlying criminal record, it is possible to have a felony level shoplifting downgraded to a disorderly persons offense and remanded back to the local municipal court. 

Here is a breakdown of what separates each degree and the potential penalties one faces if convicted:

2nd Degree Felony Shoplifting Charges in Somerset County NJ

  • The value of the merchandise must be greater than $75,000.
    • If convicted, the Defendant will be facing the following penalties:
      • 5 to 10 years in prison;
      • $150,000 fine;
      • Felony criminal record
      • Community Service
      • Restitution

3rd Degree Felony Shoplifting Charges in Bridgewater  NJ

  • The value of the merchandise must be greater than $500 but less than $75,000.
    • Anyone convicted of this of this degree will be facing the following penalties:
      • 3 to 5 years in prison;
      • $15,000 fine;
      • Felony criminal record
      • Community Service
      • Restitution

4th Degree Felony Shoplifting Charges in Watchung NJ

  • The value of the merchandise must be greater than $200 but less than $500.
    • A Defendant convicted of this degree will be facing the following penalties:
      • 18 months in prison;
      • $10,000 fine;
      • Felony criminal record
      • Community Service
      • Restitution

Disorderly Persons Offense Shoplifting Charges in Watchung NJ

  • The value of the merchandise must be less than $200.
    • A Defendant convicted of this degree will be facing the following penalties:
      • 6 months in prison;
      • $1,000 fine;
      • Criminal record
      • Community Service
      • Restitution

Mandatory Jail Time for a 3rd or Subsequent Shoplifting Conviction in NJ

Anyone convicted of a third or subsequent shoplifting offense in New Jersey will be facing a mandatory minimum of 90 days in the Somerset County Jail regardless of the degree. Furthermore, if any force is used in order to commit the shoplifting offense, the charges will be upgrade to a robbery. This will quickly take a bad situation and make it much worse. Including mandatory incarceration, ranging anywhere from 5 to 10 years and that time must include a mandatory parole ineligibility periods as well.

Speak to a Local Shoplifting Lawyer in Bound Brook Today

If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting, theft by deception, burglary, robbery, carjacking, resisting arrest or disorderly conduct in Somerset County, the criminal attorneys at Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys are well aware that no two clients let alone no two cases are the same. As such, we take a tremendous amount of pride in being able to adapt our skill set to fit your needs. Whether that be a trial, motion practice or negotiating a desirable plea. To speak with one of our attorneys about your options today, please contact us at (908)533-1064.  We serve all of Somerset County, including Bridgewater, Clinton, North Plainfield, Somerville, Readington, Franklin, Raritan and Bedminster.