Shoplifting in NJ: What to do when you get caught.

March 11, 2013 · by rosenblumlawfirm · in

New Jersey, stores, malls and shopping centers are always on the lookout for shoplifters.  With improvements in technology store owners and prosecutors are taking every measure to make sure they catch shoplifters in the act and prosecute them to the full extent of the law.

Security cameras and surveillance equipment can track potential shoplifters which makes it not only easier to apprehend shoplifters but also to demonstrate their guilt in a court of law. These systems have become so sophisticated that shoplifters that are skilled enough to make it out of the store and into their cars are often caught days later thanks to parking lot cameras.

What Is Considered Shoplifting In New Jersey?

Shoplifting is a crime and yields serious legal consequences if not handled correctly. Shoplifting can also leave an unattractive mark on your record and endanger your reputation and future.

Shoplifting is a broad term that covers many different types of acts with respect to a store owner’s property. Not only does it describe the physical act of taking an item from a store with the intent of not paying for that item, it also includes actions like manipulating or altering price tags, serving as a look out for another shoplifter, and fraudulently returning items.

Remember that although a person may be charged with a shoplifting offense, accidental removal of an items from a store without the intent to steal it or deprive the owner of its value does not constitute shoplifting.

What Should I Do If I Am Being Charged With Shoplifting In New Jersey?

If you are charged with shoplifting be aware that several legal options are available to you.  First you should remember that you have a right to not answer questions posed by a shop owner, security guard, store employee or even the police.   In some cases something as innocent as apologizing to a shop owner can be used by a skilled prosecutor as evidence of guilt.

Consulting an attorney before giving out statements can help you avoid implicating yourself in the crime. With the assistance of a competent lawyer you may be able to avoid the worst possible outcomes of a shoplifting charge.  In the best cases, you may be able to have your charges dismissed if it is found that your shoplifting was too trivial to warrant a full trial, or if witnesses like security guards or store employees do not show up at your hearing. If you’re a first time shoplifter, you may be able to have your charges downgraded to a municipal ordinance with a less expensive fine and no criminal record.

Why Is It Important To Have A Defense Attorney Fight For Me?

The experience of going to court or trial is a scary one, especially if you are not a lawyer and have little legal knowledge. Having a lawyer at your side is essential to minimizing the damage a shoplifting charge can inflict upon your life.

By consulting with a skilled criminal defense attorney in New Jersey you will dramatically increase your chances of avoiding the worst punishments, fines and criminal records.

If you have been charged with shoplifting, The Rosenblum Law Firm is available and ready to lend you a solid legal defense regardless of the facts surrounding your case. We have experience with prosecutors and know how to mount the best defense for our clients. We encourage you to call or email us if you are in need of legal assistance.

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