Is Shoplifting A 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.

Under NJSA 2C:20-11 Shoplifting shall consist of
any one or more of the following acts:

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.

Penalties for shoplifting in NJ

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. 

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.  

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.  

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.

Shoplifting lawyer in NJ

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.

Legal Definition

NJSA 2C:20-11 (6)

For any person purposely to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store or other retail mercantile establishment without the consent of the merchant given at the time of such removal with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such cart.

Plain English

NJSA 2C:20-11 (6)

In other words,if you walk  home with the store’s shopping cart you can be charged with shoplifting.  Unless the store owner gives you permission and you have no intention of keeping the cart, your actions are considered to be shoplifting.

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 (marijuana possession when the person was in college).

Shoplifting convictions really harm a person’s reputation.

Contact us so we can help you keep your record clean.

Free & Confidential Form

More to explore

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu