Monmouth Mall is one of the most popular spots in Eatontown, not just for shoppers but for shoplifters. Jersey Outlets in Tinton Falls is an outdoor outlet that attracts shoppers from all over New Jersey, and many are arrested for shoplifting each year. Unfortunately for those who give in to the temptation of a “five-finger discount,” the mall and outlet do not have much forgiveness when it comes to prosecuting those who steal goods while pretending to be a customer.
If you have recently been arrested for shoplifting at Monmouth Mall in Eatontown or Jersey Gardens Outlet in Tinton Falls, there are several things you should know.
How New Jersey Law Defines Shoplifting
The various legal terms associated with the crime of shoplifting are defined in New Jersey Revised Statutes § 2C:20-11. At least six separate actions are classified as “shoplifting” under the statute, including carrying away merchandise without paying, purposely causing an “under-ring” with the intent to deprive a merchant of an item’s full retail value, and removing a price tag with the intent of paying less than the merchandise’s advertised price.
Concealing merchandise with the intent of depriving the merchant of its value can be punishable under New Jersey’s shoplifting law, as can purposely transferring merchandise from one container to another.
Possible Punishments for Shoplifting at Monmouth Mall or Jersey Gardena Outlet in Tinton Falls
The exact punishment for shoplifting is dependent upon, among other things, the value of the merchandise that was stolen (or attempted to be stolen). The lowest level of punishment applies to merchandise with a full retail value of less than $200; this type of theft is considered a “disorderly persons offense.” Taking between $200 and $500 worth of merchandise is a “crime of the fourth degree,” and shoplifting an item worth between $500 and $75,000 is a “crime of the third degree.” A shoplifting “crime of the second degree” includes not only the theft of items worth over $75,000 but also the carrying away of an item worth $1,000 or more if the offense was committed as part of an organized retail theft enterprise.
All shoplifting offenses except those classified as disorderly persons offenses are considered felonies under New Jersey law. The punishment for felony shoplifting ranges from up to 18 months of incarceration and a fine of up to $10,000 for shoplifting in the fourth degree to up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000 for shoplifting in the second degree. Importantly, the State may have the option of aggregating several shoplifting offenses into a single charge, with the punishment defined by the total value of merchandise taken or attempted to be taken in the combined acts by the defendant.
A criminal record, especially for a felony conviction, can have a considerable adverse impact on the defendant’s future. It can result in the loss of certain privileges (such as the right to own a firearm), the inability to pass a background check for certain occupations, and even the loss of certain educational or military service opportunities.
Schedule a Consultation with an Experienced Monmouth County Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with shoplifting at Monmouth Mall, Jersey Outlets or elsewhere, you need an effective defense to minimize the consequences of what was hopefully a one-time bad decision. Knowledgeable shoplifting defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa has 15 years of experience defending those who have been accused of shoplifting. When you hire Attorney Breslow-Testa to represent you in a theft case, you get her personal attention, rather than work from some less experienced associate. Unlike what is typical at many larger firms, Attorney Breslow-Testa works hard to develop a relationship with each client. This can be a tremendous resource in the client’s defense. To schedule a free consultation regarding your shoplifting case in Eatontown, Tinton Falls, Freehold, Red Bank, Middletown, Holmdel, or elsewhere in the state of New Jersey, call (732) 784-2880.
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