Is Shoplifting A Felony Or Misdemeanor In NJ?

Shoplifting can be a Misdemeanor in NJ
if the value of the stuff you stole is less than $200.00

A "Disorderly Person's Offense" is the name we use for a Misdemeanor In NJ

Under the law, there are 6 different ways you can be charged with Shoplifting in NJ.

We have made it really simple for you to learn about the different types of Shoplifting charges in NJ.

On the left, you will find the legal definition of one type of Shoplifting 
& on the right it will be in plain English.

Legal Definition

NJSA 2C:20-11 (1)

For any person purposely to take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.

Plain English

NJSA 2C:20-11 (1)

In other words, you took something from a store that did not belong to you and that you did not pay for.

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Legal Definition

NJSA 2C:20-11 (2)

For any person purposely to conceal upon his person or otherwise any merchandise offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the processes, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the value thereof.

Plain English

NJSA 2C:20-11 (2)

In other words, while you were in the store you hid stuff in your pocket, backpack or purse because you were trying to steal it. 

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Legal Definition

NJSA 2C:20-11 (3)

For any person purposely to alter, transfer or remove any label, price tag or marking indicia of value or any other markings which aid in determining value affixed to any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment and to attempt to purchase such merchandise personally or in consort with another at less than the full retail value with the intention of depriving the merchant of all or some part of the value thereof.

 

Plain English

NJSA 2C:20-11 (3)

In other words, you took the price from a $20- shirt and switched it with another tag showing $10-.  Yes, you were willing to pay the $10- for the shirt but you were “stealing” $10- by switching the tags.  

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Legal Definition

NJSA 2C:20-11 (4)

For any person purposely to transfer any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail merchandise establishment from the container in or on which the same shall be displayed to any other container with intent to deprive the merchant of all or some part of the retail value thereof.

Plain English

NJSA 2C:20-11 (4)

In other words, you took a pair of $200.00 Adidas sneakers and put them in a box of $80.00 Adidas sneakers.  Same brand, just a different model and value, BUT, you were saving yourself $120.00 by switching the boxes.  

NJ Shoplifting Lawyer

Legal Definition

NJSA 2C:20-11 (5)

For any person purposely to under-ring with the intention of depriving the merchant of the full retail value thereof.

NJ Shoplifting Lawyer

Plain English

NJSA 2C:20-11 (5)

In other words, your friend works the register at Walmart and instead of scanning the bar code on your purchase, they manually ring up your purchase at a lesser value. 

Those Adidas don’t have the bar code so your friend enters the price manually at half the value.

What are the penalties for shoplifting in NJ?

Please understand that the penalties for Shoplifting in New Jersey are very serious.

As you can see below, if you are convicted for Shoplifting a third or more times,
you will be sentenced to 90 days in jail.

This is an absolute minimum mandatory period of incarceration.
For a First offense, at least ten days of community service;
For a Second offense, at least 15 days of community service; and
For a Third or subsequent offense, a maximum of 25 days of community service.
Any person convicted of a third or subsequent shoplifting offense shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days.

A final thought if you are facing a shoplifting charge in NJ

One of the worst aspects of being convicted for Shoplifting in NJ is that
convictions for these types of crimes ruin a person’s trustworthiness.
Potential employers view a candidate with a NJ Shoplifting conviction as an employee that cannot be trusted.
Unlike other types of criminal convictions that may be successfully explained.
Shoplifting convictions really harm a person’s reputation.
Contact us so we can help you keep your record clean.
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