Wayne NJ Shoplifting Charges Dismissed
Shoplifting Defense Lawyers in Passaic County, New Jersey
Criminal defense attorney Alissa Hascup recently represented a client charged with shoplifting in Wayne, New Jersey. This shoplifting charge, a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11, involved merchandise valued at less than $200, so it was classified as a disorderly persons offense and as such, the case was adjudicated in Wayne Municipal Court. According to New Jersey Shoplifting Law, shoplifting offenses where the full retail value of the allegedly stolen items amount to less than $200 are considered disorderly persons offenses, which are handled in the local municipal court in the municipality where the alleged offense occurred. If a shoplifting crime involves merchandise valued above $200, it becomes an indictable offense which is handled at the Superior Court in the county where the theft allegedly happened, so this case would have been transferred to Passaic County Superior Court.
Being charged with a disorderly persons shoplifting offense, the defendant in this case was facing up to six months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a charge on their criminal record. In addition, first-time shoplifting offenses entail mandatory community service for 10 days in New Jersey. If you are charged with a second shoplifting offense, the community service period is elevated to 15 days, and a third shoplifting conviction has a maximum of 25 days community service as well as a mandatory 90 days in jail.
In order to prove their case, the State needed the testimony of a store representative who witnessed the alleged shoplifting incident and/or surveillance video from the store showing that the defendant stole something. The evidence used by the prosecution is known as the “discovery packet,” and this is something that a defense attorney can demand on behalf of their client. In this case, Alissa submitted multiple requests for discovery, including the surveillance footage from the store. However, the store representative failed to appear in court and failed to produce the video footage associated with the alleged incident. With the State’s failure to fulfill its burden, Alissa was able to submit a motion and the charges were dismissed against her client. This represents just one of the strategies that she often uses to have shoplifting charges dismissed.
If you or someone you love has been charged with shoplifting in Wayne, Passaic County, or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup at 862-257-1200 to learn more about your charges and potential ways to successfully resolve your case.