I recently represented a client who was charged with shoplifting in Middlesex County, New Jersey. First, she was charged with an indictable (felony) shoplifting case. Based on the fact that she had no prior criminal record, I was able to obtain her admission into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program. This was crucial in this case because the defendant was not a US citizen and was a green-card holder. As a result, if she was convicted of a felony shoplifting offense she would undoubtedly be deported from the country. PTI allowed her to remain in the country and, if she successfully completed probation, the charges would be dismissed.
Unfortunately, after about nine (9) months of PTI, the defendant was charged with another shoplifting offense out of Old Bridge, New Jersey. The amount was about $450.00, which constitutes a 4th degree indictable (felony) level offense with up to 18 months in state prison if convicted. Further, if the defendant was convicted of this new shoplifting case, she would be in violation of her PTI program and those charges would come back as well. Finally, she would also definitely be deported from the United States if she was convicted of either of these charges.
The defendant again hired my office to represent her. I was able to have the indictable (felony) level shoplifting offense remanded to the Old Bridge Municipal Court as a disorderly persons offense. Then, I was able to convince the PTI program, her probation officer, and the prosecutor not to violate her PTI based on this new arrest. Finally, I negotiated a plea bargain which allowed my client to avoid any criminal record in Old Bridge and to complete her PTI successfully.
Miraculously, after two felony shoplifting arrests, the defendant has no criminal record and is not facing deportation from the United States. Needless to say, she was extremely satisfied with this result and promised never to shoplift again.