Criminal Lawyers Newark
Police in Livingston, NJ recently responded to a shoplifting crew at one of the large retailers in the area. According to reports, two of the store’s loss prevention officers were following two individuals leaving the store. The two were arrested and accused of leaving the store without paying for $5,000 in clothing they had allegedly hidden.
Each year, there is more than $45 billion lost from inventory shrinkage in the retail industry in the United States. Inventory shrinkage is caused by things such as fraud, internal theft, shoplifting, and even organized retail crime. Though it may seem like a victimless crime, retail theft harms the economy. This is why retailers and law enforcement officials have placed increased focus on catching shoplifters and prosecuting them in recent years.
In New Jersey, retail theft encompasses a wide variety of behaviors, not simply just taking an item without paying for it. In some instances, retail theft charges can become felony charges, which means you face harsher consequences than if the charges were just misdemeanor charges. If you have been arrested, contact one of the skilled Newark criminal lawyers from our firm.
Retail Theft Charges
In general, if the value of the merchandise is less than $200, the person can face a disorderly offense and face up to six months in jail, but typically the sentence for the conviction is probation.
If the value of the merchandise is between $200 to $500, the individual could face a fourth-degree charge, similar to a felony. If convicted, the person could receive a jail sentence of up to 18 months.
A conviction of stolen merchandise valued between $500 to $75,000 would result in a third-degree sentence of between three to five years in prison. If the value is over $75,000, a conviction can result in a prison term of between five to 10 years.
If a person has past convictions for any type of theft charges, such as forgery, burglary, or robbery, this can result in felony charges. Stolen merchandise valued at less than $300 is charged as a Class 4 felony, resulting in a potential prison sentence of one to three years in prison and up to $25,000 in fines.
Contact a Criminal Defense Firm Today
As you can see, a shoplifting accusation is anything but a minor crime. Retail theft convictions can result in harsh jail sentences and hefty fines, leaving a serious impact on your future.
If you have been charged with shoplifting or any other criminal offense, you need aggressive legal representation and someone to ensure your rights are protected. Contact Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. to meet with one of our seasoned Newark criminal lawyers and find out how we can help.