Short Hills Shoplifting
The experienced Short Hills Mall shoplifting attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo can assist any persons charged with shoplifting at the Short Hills Mall. The store owners in the Short Hills Mall and the Milburn police (Short Hills is a section of Milburn) take shoplifting offenses very seriously. Shoplifters can expect the mall store owners to demand that the Milburn authorities prosecute all cases. However, the lawyers at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo also take the defense of their clients very seriously. We have appeared in municipal and state courts throughout New Jersey for decades successfully defending clients. Our attorneys at the firm will be your strongest advocates in the Milburn municipal court and fight to fully protect your rights.
The Mall at Short Hills (its formal name) is one of the most popular and high-end malls in northern New Jersey. Shoppers from Essex and Morris counties, not to mention New York City, are drawn to large department stores such as Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s, dozens of specialty boutiques and several restaurants. With the high volume of shoppers come shoplifters.
New Jersey laws recognize the seriousness of shoplifting crimes. In New Jersey, conviction of shoplifting offenses can result in fines and jail time. However, as in all criminal cases, the Milburn prosecutor will be required to prove any shoplifting charges beyond a reasonable doubt. That is a very high standard and the shoplifting attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo will hold the Milburn prosecutor to that standard.
Under New Jersey law (NJSA 2C: 20-11) there are six separate activities that are considered shoplifting:
- removing products from a store intending to deprive the owner of the item’s value;
- concealing merchandise while in the store;
- altering or transferring price tags to hide the actual value of the product;
- putting merchandise in a different container;
- under ringing the merchandise; and
- taking a cart from the store intending to steal it.
The penalties for shoplifting can result in jail time and fines. The type of penalty relates to the dollar value of the goods purportedly stolen, as detailed below:
- if the value of items stolen is below $200 - disorderly person offense; fine up to $1,000; up to six months in jail;
- value between $200 and $500 – fourth-degree crime (a felony); up to 18 months jail time; up to a $10,000 fine;
- value between $500 and $75,000; third-degree crime; up to five years jail time; $15,000 fine; and
- value is over $75,000; second-degree crime; up to 10 years jail time; fine up to $150,000.
Also, a person convicted of shoplifting must perform 10 days community service for the first offense, 15 days service for a second offense and 25 days for a third.
The potential penalties for a shoplifting conviction can be severe, as seen above. However, a person who has been charged with shoplifting has the ability to fight those charges – with the right lawyer. The lawyers at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo will be will obtain all relevant police reports, witness statements, etc. We know which stores may have video surveillance systems and will obtain videos if they exist. Remember, store employees can make mistakes and/or misinterpret a customer’s actions. The shoplifting charges could arise from an inadvertent mistake or error in judgement on the part of the customer. In either scenario, the Milburn prosecutor must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt. We will hold the prosecutor to that standard.
The Short Hills shoplifting lawyers at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo also recognize that most criminal cases are settled by way of plea negotiations. Successful plea bargains save the defendant time and money. In the appropriate case, we will engage in plea discussions with the prosecutor from a position of strength and only with the client’s agreement. We also pledge that we will never coerce a client into accepting a plea.
If you or a loved one has been charged with shoplifting in Short Hills, contact the shoplifting attorneys at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo for assistance. We will protect your rights and work to secure your future.