The cost of shoplifting

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2020 | Firm News

During the holiday season, many New Jersey residents might turn to shoplifting to get the items on their wish list. However, shoplifting may be more expensive than people realize. 

Many people might think that shoplifting means they stole an item from a store. According to FindLaw, someone might face shoplifting charges even if he or she does not take merchandise outside a store. This is because there are two essential components of this offense. One is that someone has to have the intention to take an item without paying for it. The other is that someone has to intentionally conceal an item. This means that members of law enforcement might charge a person with shoplifting when he or she hides an item in a handbag or a jacket pocket. 

It is also important for people to understand that shoplifting can consist of more than taking an item without paying for it. Someone might also face shoplifting charges if he or she repackages an item to pay a lower price. Additionally, this offense includes changing the price on a price tag. 

Many people may see shoplifting as a relatively minor offense. FindLaw says that this charge can quickly become expensive. This is because in New Jersey, stores can receive compensation for the situation. This means that the person charged with shoplifting may be responsible for paying a fine to the store, as well as the legal and court fees. The fine to the shop is typically around $150, and court costs can quickly add up. This means that people can easily end up spending more money than they would have if they had paid the full cost of the item. Many people may want to consider these additional costs of shoplifting before they leave the store.