Woodland Park NJ Shoplifting Attorneys
Fight Shoplifting Charges in West Paterson, NJ
Travis J. Tormey and Alissa Hascup of the Tormey Law Firm LLC recently represented a client who had been charged with shoplifting in Woodland Park, NJ. The client allegedly shoplifted a number of retail items that had a total value of less $200. As a result, the client was charged with a disorderly persons offense, not a felony-level crime. That’s because N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 specifies that the theft of items with a retail value under $200 is a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). Most shoplifting charges in New Jersey are classified as disorderly persons offenses. A disorderly persons offense for shoplifting is heard in the local municipal court, not the county superior court.
What Are the Penalties for Shoplifting in NJ?
The client in this case needed to address the disorderly persons offense shoplifting charges in the Woodland Park Municipal Court. A conviction on the theft crime could have resulted in significant penalties, including: six months in the Passaic County Jail, a fine of $1,000, a period of probation, and a permanent criminal charge and conviction on the client’s record.
In many cases, a person convicted of a theft offense conviction can seek an expungement at a later date. To “expunge” a criminal charge or conviction means that the convicted person is basically getting the past conviction removed from their record.
The Woodland Park NJ defendant represented by the Tormey Law Firm desperately needed to avoid a conviction in the shoplifting case in order to remain legally in the United States. The client was not a US citizen, so he faced deportation from the country if convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude.”
When the client contacted Travis Tormey and Alissa D. Hascup to assist him, the experienced criminal defense attorneys immediately got to work fighting on behalf of the client. The skilled legal team cited the client’s lack of a prior criminal history when negotiating with Woodland Park prosecutors and ultimately worked out an extremely favorable plea agreement for the client. The plea deal called for the criminal charge against the client to be lowered to a local municipal ordinance violation for causing a disturbance in a store, which is basically the same as a ticket for littering. Although the client had to pay a fine, he avoided jail and kept his record clean.
This represented a great outcome for the client and a success for the Tormey Law Firm.