The Tormey Law Firm LLC recently represented a client who had been charged with shoplifting in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11(b). The client was arrested in connection with an alleged theft incident at a store in Wayne, New Jersey. Since the amount was greater than $500, the case was originally charged as a felony (indictable matter) and was being handled at the Passaic County Superior Court in Paterson, NJ. The consequences were significant: our client could have ended up with a felony on her record, as well as being sentenced to several years in NJ State Prison if convicted of this very serious criminal offense.
One of the criminal defense attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm appeared on behalf of the client in Passaic County Superior Court and contested the charge. Our hardworking criminal defense lawyer was able to convince the assistant county prosecutor to remand the case back to the Wayne Municipal Court as a disorderly persons offense. As a result, the client now faced a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) instead of a felony conviction on her record.
This was excellent news for the client. But the Tormey Law Firm wasn’t done; we still wanted to help our client beat the charges. So when the case was sent back to Wayne Municipal Court, our criminal defense attorneys appeared with the client in the courtroom. The representatives from the store failed to appear in court, meaning that the State could not rely on their testimony in the case. Without this crucial testimony, prosecutors were unable to proceed with the case. Based on this, the Tormey Law Firm asked the court to dismiss the charges. The judge initially denied our motion but marked the next listing as “try or dismiss.” This meant that if the store representatives failed to appear again in court, the charges against our client would be thrown out. That’s exactly what happened. The case was subsequently dismissed for lack of prosecution based on a motion for the defense.
This was a fantastic result for our client and a major victory for the Tormey Law Firm.