The Law: What is Shoplifting Simplified Version
The Law and Penalties for shoplifting are listed below. The
punishment for shoplifting is based on the value (price) of the
merchandise taken.  Please note: Even if the value of the
merchandise shoplifted is only $1.00 you can still be charged with
Shoplifting and go to jail for up to 180 days.
 

Value of Merchandise is less than $200.00:
Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense if the full retail value of the merchandise is less
than $200.

Sentence if found Guilty:
 Up to 180 days in Jail plus a fine of up to $1000.00, plus
community service as indicated below.  Case will generally be heard in Municipal Court with a
Judge Trial.  No Jury is available.  These are the penalties for a first offense.
Click here to
learn about additional penalties for all offenders.  If a second offense, same penalties as
above but add additional community service time as indicated below.

Value of Merchandise is between $200.00 and up to $500.00
Shoplifting constitutes a crime of the fourth degree if the full retail value of the merchandise  is
at least $200 but does not exceed $500.

Sentence if found Guilty:  
Up to 18 Months in Jail plus fine of up to $10,000.00 plus
community service as indicated below. Case will be heard in Superior Court with a Judge or
Jury Trial.  
Click here to learn about additional penalties for all offenders.  If a second offense,
same penalties as above but add additional community service time as indicated below.

Value of Merchandise is more than $500.00, but less than $75,000.00
Shoplifting constitutes a crime of the third degree if the full retail value of the merchandise
exceeds $500 but is less than  $75,000, or the offense is committed in furtherance of or in
conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise and the full retail value of the
merchandise is less than $1,000.  

Sentence if found Guilty:
3 to 5 years in Jail plus fine of up to $15,000.00, plus community
service as indicated below
.  Click here to learn about additional penalties for all offenders.  
Case will be heard in Superior Court with a Judge or Jury Trial.  If a second offense, same
penalties as above but add additional community service time as indicated below.

Value of Merchandise is more than $1000 if committed by two or
more people or $75,000 if committed by one person.
Shoplifting constitutes a crime of the second degree if the full retail value of the merchandise
is  $75,000 or more, or the offense is committed in furtherance of or in conjunction with an
organized retail theft enterprise and the full retail value of the merchandise is $1,000 or more.
 An organized retail theft enterprise is considered to be any association of two or more
persons who engage in the conduct of or are associated for the purpose of effectuating the
transfer or sale of shoplifted merchandise (i.e. organized retail theft enterprise means two
people working together to steal merchandise and later sell it)

Sentence if found Guilty:
5 to 10 years in Jail plus fine of up to $150,000, plus
community service as indicated below.
 Case will be heard in Superior Court with a Judge
or Jury Trial.  If a second offense, same penalties as above but add additional community
service time as indicated below.

Additional Penalties for All Grades of Shoplifting in NJ: Community Service
Required:  In addition to the penalties noted above, any person convicted of a shoplifting
offense shall be sentenced to perform community service as follows:  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

Presumptions.  Any person purposely concealing unpurchased merchandise of any store
or other retail mercantile establishment, either on the premises or outside the premises of
such store or other retail mercantile establishment, shall be prima facie presumed to have so
concealed such merchandise with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession,
use or benefit of such merchandise without paying the full retail value thereof, and the finding
of such merchandise concealed upon the person or among the belongings of such person
shall be prima facie evidence of purposeful concealment;and if such person conceals, or
causes to be concealed, such merchandise upon the person or among the belongings of
another, the finding of the same shall also be prima facie evidence of willful concealment on
the part of the person so concealing such merchandise.

Definition of Shoplifting: Shoplifting shall consist of any one or more of the following acts:

(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.

(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.

(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.

(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.

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

(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.

Shoplifting is a Theft Offense:  NJ Theft charges/offenses are categorized in four
different degrees depending on the amount alleged to have been unlawfully taken as
indicated above.  Thus, a conviction for shoplifting is considered not just merely
shoplifting but theft, and as such the person is called a thief.  Shoplifting is merely a
new word for an ancient crime which has been around since the birth of time.  To learn
more about theft offenses
click here.  To learn more about the consequences of a
conviction
click here.  If you have been charged with theft don't just hire any attorney
hire Attorney Aalsberg he has over 8000 satisfied clients and can get you results.  Call
today and find out how he can help you.  The call is free the advice may be priceless.

How is the value of merchandise evaluated: Value means the fair market value of
the property at the time and place of the alleged theft. Fair market value is the price
that a buyer would be willing to pay and a seller would be willing to accept if both
parties were aware of all the relevant surrounding circumstances and neither party
were under any compulsion to buy or sell.  The key words in the law is compulsion to
sell.  Thus, courts have ruled that even if a product is on sale at the time it is shoplifted
the fair market value would be the ordinary or regular price of the item, not the then
current sale or clearance price.   



* Please consult our New Jersey Shoplifting Lawyers for complete details on all fines and
penalties listed above as the shoplifting penalties listed in this website are for informational
purposes only and may contain error or omissions.  All NJ shoplifting penalties indicated
above were checked for accuracy at the time of publication but are subject to change at any
time without notice. Past performance is not indicative of future performance and each case is
fact sensitive, thus, the need for the in office consultation for the attorney to evaluate your
shoplifting case.  Additional penalties for shoplifting can occur if person was in
possession of
burglary tools (anti shoplifting countermeasures including but not limited to pocket knives, box
cutters etc.
) at time of arrest.  Please consult a shoplifting attorney in your state of residence
if you live outside the State of New Jersey as additional penalties could apply to you
.  All
shoplifting penalties listed were accurate as of time of publication and are subject to change
at any time without notice. H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq., P.C. Main office address: 39 Milltown
Road, East Brunswick, N.J. 08816. Commentary:
Call our office at 1-800-9-RIGHTS to set up
a free in office consultation to see if you qualify for a diversionary program for your offense.  
Diversionary programs may not be available for non US citizens
and should be applied for
immediately after arrest.
 98% Success Rate refers to the percentage of cases in which our
shoplifting lawyers have either reduced the original shoplifting charges, had the shoplifting
charges downgraded to a lower offense, won the case, or simply reduced the penalties the
shoplifting client was facing such as a possible 18 months in jail was reduced to mere
probation and a fine and or community service.  Simplified details on
shoplifting punishments
available here
Fact #1

If you have been  
charged with
Shoplifting, the
charges will
probably be proven
in court by the
following method:

  1. Store video
    camera
  2. Loss
    prevention staff
  3. Eye Witness
    Testimony
  4. Statements
    made by
    yourself to the
    store or the
    police
Fact #2                          

Once you have been
arrested for
shoplifting the store,
on its own accord,
cannot dismiss or
reduce the charges.
Thus the need for
the best possible  
defense to win or
reduce the charges

FACT #3                 

We have a
98% Success Rate of
Winning
Reducing
Downgrading
or Eliminating
the penalties.
Why Go To
Anyone Else!
Free
Office
Consultation
1-800-9-RIGHTS
www.ShopliftersAttorney.com

98% Success Rate of Winning, Reducing,  
or Eliminating the Penalties

72% of all state
court criminal
offenders were
sentenced to jail
and only 28%
were sentenced
to probation
without jail.
Source: U.S.
Department of Justice.
 
Don't Become A
Statistic!  Get a
Lawyer Today!
Helping Shoplifters Get
Not Guilty Verdicts for Over 20 Years
SERVING ALL OF
NEW JERSEY
1-800-9-RIGHTS
Protect Your Rights
Helping Clients Get
NOT GUILTY
Verdicts For Over 20 Years
39 Milltown Road, East Brunswick, N.J. 08816
1028 Route #23 North, Wayne, N.J. 07470
1-800-9-RIGHTS or (732) 257-5040
"When You Need The Best Result"
H. SCOTT AALSBERG, ESQ., P.C.