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Ocean County has a large retail presence. Major stores, supermarkets, and chains, such Wal-Mart, Target, the Ocean County Mall, Shop Rite, Jackson Outlets, and Stop & Shop, among countless other shops, convenience stores and pharmacies, in addition to a sizable population, contribute to the large number of shoplifting arrests and charges that take place in the county every year. McGuckin Law assists individuals facing shoplifting charges throughout the county, including Toms River, Stafford Township, Jackson, Lacey Township, Brick, Barnegat, and Little Egg Harbor. If you or your loved one is facing shoplifting charges, contact us at 732.924.4200 today to speak with an experienced, local criminal defense attorney.
Many people think that in order to be arrested, charged, and ultimately convicted of shoplifting, one must leave a place of business with merchandise that was taken from the store without payment. While true, there are actually SEVEN types of acts that can lead to a shoplifting arrest. These include:
As you can see, merely moving or concealing merchandise within a store can lead to shoplifting charges. Furthermore, New Jersey municipal and county prosecutors have become increasingly aggressive in the prosecution of shoplifting cases in recent years.
The penalties for shoplifting in New Jersey are severe and increase in severity with the overall cost of the alleged shoplifted goods. In addition to the criminal charges that you face, you may also be civilly liable to the merchant and compelled to pay a civil penalty that may range up to $150. If you are a first time shoplifting offender then the following penalties may apply to your case:
In addition to the aforementioned penalties for first offense shoplifting charges, you should be aware that second, third, or subsequent shoplifting convictions carry enhanced penalties that may include mandatory jail time. Therefore, it is in your best interest to consult a skilled and experienced attorney if you are facing shoplifting charges.
There are various ways to fight and beat Ocean County Shoplifting charges. First, it is of paramount importance to request any and all evidence, called discovery, that the State intends to use to prosecute you. You are entitled to all of it. Discovery includes:
In order to successfully convict you of shoplifting, the store representative, LPO, must show up at court on the day of your hearing as the complaining witness. Many times, the LPO does not show up and we are able to make a motion to dismiss. Additionally, the store often fails to provide all pertinent discovery and we files motions to dismiss or suppressed based upon lack of discovery. Finally, we are often able to work with te prosecution to secure your admittance into a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention or Conditional Dismissal. For more information on how we will fight for you, call our local office or visit our Ocean County Theft and Fraud Resource Center.
McGuckin Law will take your shoplifting charges very seriously. We understand that there are often external factors that contribute to shoplifting charges such as simple mistake, mental illness, depression, etc. Whether your case is scheduled in municipal court or Ocean County Superior Court, we are prepared to fight for you. Call us any time, at 732.924.4200, including nights and weekends, for a free consultation.