Shoplifting is a common crime in the state of New Jersey. Therefore, it is taken very seriously. The state law says shoplifting is when a person takes something with the intent of not paying. Also, it includes altering or removing a price tag in order to get a discount. Therefore, the severity of the penalty depends on the value of the item or items that were stolen. However, shoplifting is a scary thing to get charged with. Leon Matchin, a New Jersery attorney can help you through the entire process. Moreover, his goal is to create a defense to help get your charges downgraded or dismissed. Read on for more information about shoplifting penalties and common defenses that a New Jersey attorney uses.
Shoplifting can be considered a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th degree crime, or a disorderly person’s offense. If the defendant is a first-time offender and the item was less than $200, they will receive a disorderly persons’ offense. Additionally, if the item was between $200 and $500 the defendant will be charged with a 4th degree offense. Also, if the item was between $500 and $75,000 it is a 3rd degree offense. Shoplifting an item over $75,000 leads to a 2nd degree offense. However, each offense comes with jail-time and fines.
Defenses Attorneys Use
There are a variety of defenses an attorney can use to try and get shoplifting charges downgraded or completely dismissed. The first is intent. The attorney can attempt to prove that the client was not intending to shoplift. For example, maybe they accidentally picked something up and walked out, forgetting to pay due to some type of distraction. Or maybe a piece of clothing got caught up on their bag or jacket and they walked out of the store not even knowing they had taken something.
Also, another way to get charges downgraded is that occasionally, if the store gets the inventory back and civil penalties are paid, they may decide not to press charges. Your attorney will work closely with you to examine the case and create a solid defense around the circumstances. Therefore, the goal is to leave the courtroom with downgraded charges, or the charges being completely dismissed.
Shoplifting charges are complex. There is a lot to know about the law to even understand what type of charge you will be receiving. Fortunately, a New Jersey attorney like Leon Matchin can help. He has many years of experience under his belt of defending those charged with shoplifting. Call Leon Matchin today at 732-887-2479, or contact him via email at [email protected] for more information about the services he can provide.