Shoplifting is a very serious crime in the state of New Jersey and is treated as such. State law enforcement and courts are strict in penalizing offenders. Shoplifting can include stealing items from a store, no matter how big or small the item may be. While all states have laws regarding shoplifting, New Jersey laws are unique. In addition to facing certain consequences, shoplifters may be required to compensate the store owner. This allows the store owner to recover any monetary losses due to the act. Please continue reading and reach out to our seasoned Bergen County shoplifting attorney to learn more about the shoplifting laws in New Jersey and how we can help if you’ve been accused of violating them. Here are some of the questions you may have:
How is shoplifting defined in New Jersey?
The state of New Jersey defines shoplifting as any action taken with the intention of not paying for an item. It also covers paying less than the full price of an item. Actions that can be classified as shoplifting can include:
- Taking merchandise outside of a store
- Hiding merchandise on your body or in something you are carrying
- Removing price tags
- Altering price tags
- Transferring price tags
What are the penalties for shoplifting in New Jersey?
The consequences of shoplifting can vary depending on the nature of the offense and the value of the property that was stolen. The penalties an offender may face can consist of the following:
- First-time offenders who are convicted of taking items valued less than $200 can face a maximum of 10 days in jail
- Fourth-Degree Offense: Shoplifting items valued more than $200 but less than $500 can result in up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000
- Third-Degree Offense: Shoplifting items valued more than $500 and less than $75,000 can result in 3 to 5 years in prison with a fine of up to $15,000
- Second-Degree Offense: Shoplifting items valued more than $75,000 can result in 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000
How are stores compensated for shoplifting?
In the state of New Jersey, store owners have the right to receive recompensation for the trouble that was caused due to the shoplifter. This occurs in the form of a fine against the offender that is given to the store. Depending on the amount that is stolen from the store, offenders can owe a maximum of $150,000 to the owner as a repercussion for their actions. It is important to know that if you are caught shoplifting, regardless of what you took, you will owe the store at least $150. This is even the case if they took back the merchandise you shoplifted.
If you are currently facing shoplifting charges in New Jersey, the most important thing you can do is retain the services of a seasoned lawyer who can help you fight for the best outcome possible. The Law Office of Carl Spector is here to help.