Shoplifting is a minor criminal charge, which is why one might be hesitant to hire a shoplifting attorney in the start. The penalties for this charge are minimal but they can be serious, sometimes even beyond one’s thinking. It can be taken as a misdemeanor or a felony depending upon the state’s laws and value of the property shoplifted. However, the first offense is usually a fine.
Shoplifting – What Are the Consequences?
Shoplifting is the most common offense; it is one of the major cases brought to municipal court in the state. Also if the value exceeds $200 it becomes a criminal offense i.e. felony. If you are charged with a variety of shoplifting offenses, the consequences would be even graver. Thus, it is prudent to hire the services of a shoplifting attorney in New Jersey if charged with shoplifting.
In New Jersey, if convicted with shoplifting, not only you can face community service or fine, but also jail. The store owners will recover the court costs from you along with the monetary losses out of shoplifting. So you would not only pay for the crime you are convicted for but also for your own conviction. If you think the situation is serious, it is recommended to hire a shoplifting attorney in New Jersey.
What Can Be Taken as Shoplifting?
Shoplifting constitutes any action taken without the intention to discharge payment or to dodge the full payment i.e. paying less for an item. These actions are considered as shoplifting:
- Sneaking an item out of the store
- Hiding it in your clothes or body or something you are carrying
- Removing the price tag
- Changing the price tag
- Transferring it
How Value Impacts the Penalty?
Definitely the value of an item shoplifted would comprise a penalty however, the penalties would be comprised on full retail price. Also, the value exceeding $75,000 is a second degree offense and the fine for that would be $150,000 and the person can be jailed for 5 to 10 years.
Nevertheless, the first time offense of shoplifting an item less than $200 would face maximum 10 days’ jail. It may not sound that big a deal but the store’s rights to recover the damages and also the court costs can turn this thing very costly. The store is going to take at least $150 from you and it is not for the value of the merchandise that you shoplifted rather it is for the fact that you took it. You have to do the community service as well. So, shoplifting in New Jersey is actually a big deal.
Hire The Services of Shoplifting Attorney in New Jersey
By now, you must have realized how important it is to hire a shoplifting attorney if charged with the crime. It is not only embarrassing but also grave. It can make you lose employment, effect immigration and imprisonment. That is why you need a prosecutor for he or she will know what to do with your case and how to alleviate the situation.