Call us today at 201-996-0056 for a free consultation with an attorney with more than 30 years of experience.

Shoplifting and Petty Theft

You may be asking yourself why you need a defense lawyer for a "minor" shoplifting offense. It's simple, really: hiring a good defense lawyer who knows the shoplifting laws in New Jersey, who knows and has a working relationship with the local Prosecutors, is critical to protect your legal rights, and your best chance to beat the charges or walk away with a minimal penalty. Whether you've already been arrested, or you have received a notice to appear a Municipal or in the Superior Court, I can help you work through your case to get the best possible outcome. Call us today at 201-996-0056 for a free consultation with an attorney with more than 29 years of experience in Court defending these cases!

This is important because a shoplifting charge can have serious legal consequences if not dealt with properly, and any criminal conviction on your record can be damaging to your future. (We also offer the service of expunging or sealing the record of your arrest so it may no longer be a public record. Please see our heading entitled criminal expungements.)

Our office has successfully defended many individuals wrongfully arrested for petty theft. We can help you to avoid serving time in the County Jail and assist in clearing your record. Call us today at 201-996-0056 for a free consultation with an attorney with more than 29 years of experience in Court defending these cases!

Shoplifting or petty theft is a common crime that occurs when someone steals merchandise offered for sale from a retail store. The offense can be either a felony or misdemeanor depending upon the value of the item taken and whether the person has prior convictions. You face time in jail if convicted and there is a mandatory jail sentence if it is your second conviction.

To be convicted of shoplifting, one must "intend" to permanently deprive the merchant of the value of the merchandise. Individuals accused of shoplifting in New Jersey are often confused about the procedures for lawfully detaining someone suspected of theft from a store. What are the rights of a person accused? Is what the store security guard did legal? How much force can be used to detain someone who is believed to have stolen merchandise? Does the accused need to hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer? Can I file suit against the store? Call us today at 201-996-0056 for a free consultation with an attorney with more than 29 years of experience in Court defending these cases!

The store security guard must generally see a shoplifter enter the store or approach a display and see that the customer does not have any merchandise in their hand or that they haven’t retrieved an item from their own purse, bag, or pocket. This step prevents a common mistake that occurs when a customer brings an item back to the store for a return and does not check in at the return desk first. If security detains someone after seeing them replace their own merchandise into their pocket or bag, the store could be subject to a false theft arrest claim even though it is a seemingly honest mistake. Many false arrest claims are filed by attorneys because the store missed this important, but basic, first step

Secondly, the security employee must see the suspected shoplifter select the merchandise. Burbank Store employees can misunderstand when they see a customer innocently put an item into their pocket or purse and not realize that the customer had brought the item into the store with them for comparison purposes. If the employee can positively and honestly state that they saw the shoplifter remove store merchandise from the display prior to concealing it, then they may have a strong foundation for proof of shoplifting.

Furthermore, the employee must see the shoplifter conceal, carry away, or convert the merchandise. This includes concealment in bags, baby strollers, or on a person. Shoplifting can occur by wearing articles in plain view once the tags are removed. Shoplifting can occur by conversion, for example, when consuming food prior to being purchased. An exception to the observation rule is inside a fitting room where observation is impossible. Once inside a fitting room store merchandise can be concealed almost anywhere. The important factor is to know what items go into the fitting room and what items don't come out in plain view. The problem is, the fitting room must be checked beforehand to see if it is clear of merchandise and after the suspected person exits to see that the missing items were not simply discarded.

Being arrested or ordered to appear in the Criminal Court on a shoplifting charge is a difficult and humiliating experience. I sincerely sympathize with you, and you need to know that there is a good chance that I can help you. I have more than 29 years of experience in these cases and I've been able to help many people get their charges reduced or dismissed. Even with the most difficult cases, a good shoplifting defense lawyer will make sure you get the minimum penalty possible and avoid jail and immigration consequences.

Acting on your case quickly is important. You see, we have a lot more legal options available the earlier we get on a case. Ideally, I like to meet with my client shortly after they are arrested. We have defended many of these cases, and frankly, we have seen a lot of other lawyers make the mistake of not immediately challenging the facts and circumstances of the case. Don't delay in speaking with a attorney about your case. Early Intervention can be a big advantage.

Call us today at 201-996-0056 for a free consultation with an attorney with more than 30 years of experience in Court defending these cases!


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Veronica (Closter) says...
Jordan was very knowledgeable and involved in my court appearance. Punctual and thoughtful I was very satisfied and Jordan kept me in the loop throughout the process.
24th January 2012 8:27am
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