Shoplifting is commonly regarded as a youthful indiscretion, a “rite of passage” for rebellious adolescents looking to get one over on their local department store. However, if there’s one thing last holiday season taught us, it’s that shoplifting doesn’t necessarily have to be a young man’s game. The courts were filled with adults who may have suffered a lapse in judgement by trying to get that last piece of merchandise past the security guard at their local retail outlet.
Unfortunately loss prevention departments at places like Wal-Mart and Costco don’t find these offenses to be so harmless. The companies often prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law. If you’re facing shoplifting charges in NJ, no matter how petty you think the crime may be, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you avoid maximum fines and jail time.
Here are some things you need to know about New Jersey’s shoplifting laws and why it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer if you find yourself on the wrong side of them:
- Shoplifters in the state are subject to a “Third Strike Rule” which means mandatory jail-time in the event of a third conviction: no plea deal, no leniency.
- Even a disorderly persons charge can result in six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, as well as community service.
These are serious charges that carry significant penalties. Your best hope for getting your charges downgraded or dismissed is by hiring qualified legal counsel. This is also true for parents whose children have been charged with this crime. Don’t let one bad decision destroy your child’s life.
The attorneys at Lombardi and Lombardi have an excellent track record helping clients facing shoplifting charges. Contact us today for a free consultation.