Though the days may be merry and bright this holiday season, all that light can cast some long, dark shadows. Crime statistics are known to increase over the holidays, most particularly in the area of theft. While theft during this time can take many forms, one of its most common expressions is shoplifting, as the pressure to purchase gifts for loved ones can push well meaning citizens into taking drastic measures. But make no mistake, there’s nothing benign or noble about seasonal shoplifting; those stealing to avoid high price tags will soon find themselves paying an even higher price – the price for shoplifting in New Jersey!
As with most crimes involving theft, the severity of punishment for shoplifting increases with the amount stolen. The lightest type of penalty for shoplifting is known as Disorderly Persons, and can be incurred by stealing anything below $200. While the price limit may not seem high in this class, the punishment certainly is: those charged with Disorderly Persons after shoplifting can be looking at up to 6 months in prison and a fine of up to $1000.
Shoplifting becomes a 4th degree crime when it involves stolen merchandise ranging from $200-$500. To put things in perspective, shoplifting in this class is on par with possession of controlled dangerous substances, forgery, aggravated assault and lewdness. The consequences of shoplifting as a 4th degree crime drastically increase from a Disorderly Persons charge. It can involve a fine of up to $10,000 and the potential for up to 18 months in prison.
For shoplifting to qualify as a 3rd degree crime, the perpetrator must steal $500-$75,000 worth of merchandise. Though the maximum fine for shoplifting as a 3rd degree offense only increases from $10,000 to $15,000, the maximum jail time increases from 18 months to 5 years. Not the most wonderful time, afterall.
Finally, the ultimate price to pay for shoplifting is punishment as a crime of the 2nd degree. For those who have shoplifted over $75,000 in goods, the punishment is dire. The maximum fine increases from $15,000 to $150,000, while the maximum jail time doubles to 10 years in prison. What’s more, 2nd degree crimes come with a presumption of incarceration. This means that even first time offenders are automatically expected to serve from 5-10 years in prison.
Paying The Price For Shoplifting In New Jersey? We Can Help!
Though shoplifting can seem like a negligible act of nonchalance, New Jersey’s response is anything but forgiving. If you’re being charged as the result of shoplifting in New Jersey, whether with Disorderly Persons or a crime of the 2nd degree, seeking legal help could make a life-altering difference. Mark Catanzaro has been practicing law since 1985, and can bring a wealth of experience to your defense, so choose Catanzaro Law for the results you need!