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If you have been accused of shoplifting at the Quaker Bridge Mall, at stores like Sephora, Macys, Lord & Taylor, Apple or JCPenny’s, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our shoplifting defense attorneys routinely appear in the Lawrence Township Municipal Court and defend clients accused of shoplifting. Shoplifting charges can either be a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or a second, third or fourth degree felony offense. The degree in which a Defendant is actually charged with will depend solely on the dollar amount of the items in question. The difference between the degrees could be the difference between a Defendant serving up to ten years in a State Prison and receiving a probationary sentence at worst. A person convicted of shoplifting in New Jersey is not only facing potential incarceration but high fines, a felony criminal record, probation and community services as well. On top of that, any non-citizen charged with shoplifting could be facing deportation proceedings as well if convicted.
A shoplifting conviction could significantly affect an individual’s ability to not only obtain but maintain meaningful employment and it could affect some professional licenses as well. If you have been charged with shoplifting at the Quaker Bridge Mall or elsewhere in Lawrence Township, we can help. If you would like to discuss your options with one of our Mercer County Shoplifting defense attorneys then please contact us at (609) 789-0779. As always, our initial consultations are free. So if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Now here is some key information on the offense of shoplifting, including what court will actually have jurisdiction over the case.
Shoplifting Defense Attorneys in Lawrence New Jersey
The offense of shoplifting is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11b in New Jersey. Pursuant to the statute, shoplifting can either be a disorderly persons offense or a second, third or fourth degree felony. As you will see shortly, the dollar amount of the merchandise in question will dictate what degree of shoplifting a Defendant is facing.
If a Defendant is facing a disorderly persons offense shoplifting charge then that means that the value of the items was less than $200. If that is the case, then their matter will be heard in the Lawrence Township Municipal Court. The Lawrence Municipal Court is located at 2211 Lawrenceville Road. The Honorable Kevin Nerwinski is the presiding municipal court judge and the municipal prosecutor is Reed Gusciora, Esq.. Since it is a disorderly persons offense a Defendant is facing up to six months in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $1,000, fees and assessments totaling $125, community service, probation and restitution.
If the dollar amount is greater than $200 but less than $500 the Defendant will be charged with a fourth degree felony shoplifting offense. Since this matter is a felony offense, the case must be heard in the Mercer County Superior Courthouse which is located in Trenton on South Warren Street. If convicted, a Defendant could be facing up to 18 months in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $10,000, fees totaling $125, restitution, community service and probation.
If the Defendant is facing a third degree felony shoplifting charge then that means that the value of the items was greater than $500 but less than $75,000. Just like the fourth degree felony, this matter must be heard in the Mercer County Superior Courthouse which is located in Trenton. If convicted, a Defendant could be facing anywhere from 3 to 5 years in a prison, a fine up to $15,000, fees totaling $125, community service, probation restitution.
Lastly, if the Defendant is charged with a second degree felony shoplifting offense that means that the value of the items was greater than $75,000. Just like the other two felony offenses addressed above, this case must be heard in the Mercer County Superior Courthouse. A Defendant convicted of this offense is facing anywhere from 5 to 10 years in a state prison, a fine up to $150,000, $125 in fees, community service, restitution and probation.
Can I avoid a felony Conviction for Shoplifting in NJ?
An experienced Lawrence shoplifting defense attorney may be able to convince the Mercer County Prosecutor’s office to remand a third or fourth degree shoplifting charge. If that is the case, the otherwise felony shoplifting offense will be downgraded to a disorderly persons offense. If that occurs, the matter will be transferred back to the Lawrence Municipal Court to be litigated. This drastically reduces the potential penalties if convicted.
Can I get Pretrial Intervention?
New Jersey has also created several diversionary programs which a Defendant may be able to take advantage of depending on their prior criminal history. Those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI), the Conditional Dismissal Program and Drug Court. If applicable, all of these programs could help keep a Defendant out of jail and in some cases, without a criminal record. For more information, please contact our office at (609) 789-0779.
Lawrence NJ Shoplifting Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with shoplifting in Lawrence, New Jersey it is important that you speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer about your options. Our attorneys have been representing clients accused of shoplifting in Lawrence Township for years now. We are well aware that no two cases let alone no two clients are the same. As such, we will work hard to craft a defense that works best to achieve their desirable results, whether that be a trial, suppression motion or a favorable plea bargain. If you would like to come into our office for a face to face consultation with one of our attorneys then please contact us at (609)789-0779. We are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway possible.