How are shoplifters handled in New Jersey?

Shoplifting crimes have different penalties depending on what items a shoplifter steals. Their criminal record can also influence the final verdict. Today, we will take a look at the New Jersey laws that dictate the potential penalties convicted shoplifters face.

First of all, understand that shoplifting does not always involve hiding an item and leaving the store with it. It can also include:

  • Having a friend who is a cashier “under-ring” the item
  • Altering the packaging or price tag to make it appear worth less than it is
  • Entering false codes into a self check-out system to avoid paying full price

If caught with unpaid merchandise, the law also says you are shoplifting. This is an important caveat to note, since you do not have to leave the store with the item.

In the state, the value of the item determines the punishment you will face. A misdemeanor charge is for items valued to up to $200. You can face a maximum of 6 months in jail and $1,000 in fines. Items valued from $501 to $74,999, on the other hand, are a third degree shoplifting crime. It carries 3 to 5 years in jail and up to $15,000 in fines.

If you are shoplifting for the first time, you must fulfill 10 days of community service as well.

If you are curious to learn more about shoplifting or theft crimes, take a look at our web page. You can learn more about how New Jersey handles theft in general. You can also learn about the penalties that people who steal may face if convicted.