Because of the way New Jersey structures theft crime sentencing, charges of Shoplifting (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11) can become extremely serious for you.
At the lowest level, you can be charged with a disorderly persons offense if the value of the goods taken is less than $200.
The maximum penalty is six months and a $1,000 fine.
If the value of the goods taken is between $200 and $500, you’ll be charged with a crime of the fourth degree, which is the equivalent of a low felony in other states.
You’ll face up to 18 months in prison and fines up to $10,000, though first time offenders will benefit from a presumption of non-incarceration.
Beyond this, the charges become extremely dangerous for you. At the third degree level, with a sentence of between three and five years and a fine of $15,000, the value of the goods can be anywhere from $500 to $75,000.
It’s a huge range, and puts many low-level offenders in the same category as many career thieves.
Finally, when the value of goods is more than $75,000, you’ll be charged with a crime of the second degree and face five to 10 years in prison and fines up to $150,000.
At all levels, you’ll be required to pay restitution to victims and various fees.
Attorney Matthew Reisig is broadly experienced in defending clients against theft and shoplifting charges.
Call 732-625-9661 today for a free consultation.