Woodbridge New Jersey Shoplifting Attorneys
The New Jersey shoplifting statute, NJSA 2C: 20-11, is vigorously enforced by merchants and local police departments. If arrested for shoplifting in New Jersey a person can be charged with a felony and, if convicted, face substantial monetary fines, jail time and a criminal record. Woodbridge, New Jersey is the home of the Woodbridge Center Mall and numerous other retail stores such as Burlington Coat Factory, Wal-Mart, Lowe’s and Home Depot. The presence of a large and popular mall and numerous other national retail chain stores naturally draws shoppers to the town. The shopping opportunities in Woodbridge also attract shoplifters. Woodbridge shoplifters, if caught, will be prosecuted by the Woodbridge police department and the affected merchants. Anyone who is arrested and charged with shoplifting in Woodbridge should immediately contact an experienced Woodbridge shoplifting attorney, such as Todd Palumbo at Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo.
Shoplifting is a serious charge and conviction of that crime can have significant implications for an individual. Six different actions can be deemed as shoplifting: removing merchandise from a store without paying for it, concealing merchandise, altering or transferring price tags, putting merchandise in another container, under ringing merchandise or removing a shopping cart from store property.
Shoplifting can also be treated as a felony, depending on the monetary value of the property stolen. Shoplifting property that is less than $200 in value is categorized as a disorderly persons offense. However, even that lesser charge can mean imprisonment up to 180 days and up to a $1,000 fine. For property valued between $200 and $500, the charge would be a fourth degree felony with jail time up to 18 months and a fine up to $10,000. Shoplifting of property between $500 and $75,000 is a third degree offense with jail time up to five years and a fine up to $15,000. Lastly, shoplifting of property valued greater than $75,000 is a second degree offense with jail time up to 10 years and a fine up to $150,000.
In addition, conviction for shoplifting also involves community service. For a first time offender, community service of 10 days will be imposed; a second offender, 15 days; and a third offender 25 days.
Any person arrested for shoplifting in Woodbridge needs to realize that the shoplifting charges made by the merchant and/or the police are not the final determination. Rather, the state will be required to prove all the elements of the shoplifting charges beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced Woodbridge shoplifting attorney will be able to examine the state’s charges to determine what weaknesses there are in the state’s case. An experienced Woodbridge shoplifting attorney knows what police reports to ask for, whether the store will have video evidence of the incident and which witnesses to interview.
Todd Palumbo is that experienced Woodbridge shoplifting attorney. He has appeared in municipal and state courts throughout New Jersey. He knows the prosecutors and judges who will be handling shoplifting cases. He will be able to highlight to the prosecutor and judge the weaknesses in the state’s case to the benefit of his client. In the appropriate case, he can negotiate a plea deal from a position of strength. However, if an acceptable plea cannot be reached, Palumbo will be ready to fight for his client at trial.
If you are charged with shoplifting in Woodbridge, contact Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo for immediate assistance.