Rockaway Shoplifting Charges Result in No Jail Time on a Third Offense
Have you been arrested for shoplifting in Morris County? We can help. Here is a case we successfully handled in 2018 for a client who was facing a third offense shoplifting conviction which requires a mandatory 90 days in the county jail if convicted.
Our client was a 61-year old married father who hadn’t had an arrest or conviction since 1990 (28 years ago). Unfortunately for him, his two prior convictions in 1989 and 1990 were for shoplifting. Under New Jersey law, a third conviction for shoplifting (at any time in person’s life, even almost 30 years ago), requires that the defendant serve 90 days in the county jail. This alleged shoplifting offense was in Rockaway Township in Nordstrom Rack in an amount of $74.00.
We were retained to handle the case and filed Laurick motions in the two courts where his prior convictions occurred (Wayne and Bridgewater). Because he was not represented by an attorney on those two prior cases, under New Jersey law they can not enhance his third offense to include that mandatory jail time. The argument is that he was not properly advised of his rights and the penalties involved for subsequent convictions because he did not have legal counsel.
Luckily for our client, the motion was granted in Bridgewater and the Judge there signed an Order stating that the prior conviction could not be used to enhance a subsequent conviction. This avoids the mandatory jail time.However, the Municipal Judge in Rockaway Township could still impose a jail sentence if he believed it was appropriate under the circumstances.
We submitted a sentencing brief to the Court which details our client’s age, medical issues, proof of employment, the hardship a jail sentence would impose on him and his family, the counseling he completed after this offense, and argued that he had been living a law abiding life for the last 28 years since his prior convictions and that should significantly mitigate the instant offense and the Judge agreed. He imposed a one year probationary sentence and 90 days SLAP (which is in lieu of county jail time). The SLAP program allows people to do community service instead of actual jail time.
This was a great result for our client and the Tormey Law Firm. Here is a review from our client on this case:
Posted by John
September 28, 2018
Hiring Mr. Tormey to defend my shoplifting charge was the best decision of my life. I was facing mandatory jail time due to two prior convictions. My case lasted 5 months, and was the most stressful time I have ever experienced. The judge was very unforgiving, and from the first court session we learn that he was going to give me the maximum mandatory jail sentence. However, with his skill and knowledge, Mr. Tormey uses ever possible strategy to get me from being incarcerated. At the sentencing date, the judge told me and quoted “This is a very lucky day for you, I have decided not to give you jail time, and you have to thank Mr. Tormey for he has worked very hard on your behalf”. With that I was given probation and no jail time. Mr. Tormey is a professional, very responsive and stayed focus to get you the best possible outcome. At one point I was ready to plead guilty, serve the time and then just move on with my life. He reassured me by saying “That is a terrible decision, just let me do what I can do and we will avoid the jail time”. I am glad I took his advice. I also wanted to thank Mr. Brent DiMarco, an associated with his firm who assisted the case by drafting and filing various motions with the other municipal courts, and in submitting the sentencing memo to the judge. His documents were comprehensive, timely filed and were instrumental in achieving the favorable outcome. If you need an attorney in this and other criminal matters, please do yourself a huge favor and call Mr. Tormey and his team of lawyers.
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