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New Jersey Shoplifting Lawyer

Flemington Theft LawyerFlemington Theft Lawyer

If you or a loved one is facing shoplifting charges, understanding the seriousness of these charges and knowing your rights is crucial. As a dedicated New Jersey shoplifting lawyer, we recognize that shoplifting is not merely a petty theft offense. It carries significant legal consequences that can impact your future.

Whether you mistakenly walked out of a store without paying for an item or are wrongfully accused, navigating the complexities of shoplifting laws requires skilled legal representation.

At Forrester Law Firm, we’re dedicated to defending individuals charged with shoplifting and other criminal offenses. With years of experience and a deep understanding of New Jersey's legal system, our team is well-equipped to provide robust defense strategies tailored to your unique situation. Amber L. Forrester, Esq., a certified Criminal Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, leads our team with unparalleled skill and dedication to achieving the best possible outcomes for our clients.

We understand the stress and uncertainty that come with facing criminal charges, especially for something as stigmatized as shoplifting. Our firm is committed to offering compassionate, client-centered legal services, ensuring that you are well informed and supported throughout the legal process. As a top-tier shoplifting defense attorney in Flemington, NJ, we pride ourselves on our track record of success and our ability to handle even the most challenging cases.

To further assist those in need, Forrester Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss your case and explore potential defenses.

What Constitutes Shoplifting in New Jersey?

Under New Jersey law, shoplifting is defined as the unlawful taking of merchandise with the intent to deprive the store owner of its full retail value.

This offense encompasses various acts, each aimed at evading payment or altering the value of goods. As a New Jersey shoplifting lawyer, the Forrester Law Firm draws upon our thorough understanding of these specifics to aid us in crafting an effective defense strategy.

Types of Shoplifting Activities

Acts that may be considered shoplifting under NJ law include:

  • Hiding items on your person or in bags or otherwise concealing merchandise with the intent to steal, even if the person has not left the store premises
  • Changing, removing, or swapping price tags to purchase items at a lower price
  • Tampering with barcodes to misrepresent the item’s value
  • Moving items from one container to another to avoid payment, including transferring higher-value items into the packaging of lower-priced goods
  • Intentionally under-ringing or ringing up items for less than their full value, either as an employee or a customer (independently or in collusion with store staff)
  • Taking shopping carts from the store premises with the intent to steal
  • Fraudulently returning stolen items or non-store items for a refund

Understanding the Implications

Shoplifting charges in New Jersey can range from a disorderly persons offense to more serious felony charges, depending on the value of the stolen merchandise. As your trusted New Jersey shoplifting lawyer, Forrester Law Firm is committed to providing you with the knowledge and defense strategies needed to navigate these charges effectively. Knowing the specifics of what constitutes shoplifting can be the first step in mounting a robust defense and protecting your rights.

Differences Between Misdemeanor and Felony Shoplifting

Shoplifting can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony in New Jersey. Misdemeanor shoplifting, a disorderly persons offense, applies to cases involving merchandise valued under $200. Charges of misdemeanor shoplifting typically result in lesser penalties, such as smaller fines and shorter jail terms.

Felony charges lead to more severe penalties, including higher fines and longer imprisonment. Felony shoplifting of merchandise valued between $200 and $500 constitutes a fourth-degree crime. Shoplifting of merchandise valued between $500 and $75,000 can constitute a third-degree crime. For merchandise valued over $75,000, you could be charged with a second-degree crime of shoplifting.

Understanding the distinction between misdemeanor and felony shoplifting is critical in preparing a defense. As a shoplifting defense attorney in Flemington, NJ, Forrester Law Firm leverages this knowledge to advocate for reduced charges and minimized penalties for our clients. Whether you are facing a minor or severe charge, we are here to provide knowledgeable legal support and representation.

Shoplifting in New Jersey carries a range of penalties, from fines and community service to significant jail time. As your New Jersey shoplifting lawyer, our knowledge of these potential consequences helps inform our strategy to prepare an effective defense.

Penalties for shoplifting in NJ include the following.


  • Disorderly persons offense (under $200 of merchandise): Fines up to $1,000
  • Fourth-degree crime ($200-$500): Fines up to $10,000
  • Third-degree crime ($500-$75,000): Fines up to $15,000
  • Second-degree crime (over $75,000): Fines up to $150,000


  • Disorderly persons offense: Up to 6 months in county jail.
  • Fourth-degree crime: Up to 18 months in state prison.
  • Third-degree crime: 3 to 5 years in state prison.
  • Second-degree crime: 5 to 10 years in state prison.

Community Service

Individuals convicted of shoplifting may also be sentenced to mandated community service, often varying with the severity of the offense.

Your Rights When Accused of Shoplifting

When facing shoplifting accusations, understanding and exercising your rights is crucial to protect yourself legally. Your rights when accused of shoplifting include:

Right to Remain Silent

You are not obligated to answer questions from store personnel or law enforcement without legal representation. Anything you say can be used against you in court.

Right to Legal Representation

Consult a lawyer immediately. You have the right to seek legal advice and representation. A qualified shoplifting defense attorney in Flemington, NJ, can guide you through the legal process and help safeguard your rights.

Right to Refrain From Signing Any Documents Without a Lawyer

Stores may ask you to sign documents admitting guilt or agreeing to civil penalties. Refrain from signing anything until you have consulted with your lawyer to avoid inadvertently waiving your rights or admitting guilt.

The Importance of Legal Representation

Having a knowledgeable attorney is vital when facing shoplifting charges. Forrester Law Firm, your trusted shoplifting defense attorney in Flemington, NJ, ensures that your rights are protected and provides robust defense strategies tailored to your case. Contact us immediately if you are accused of shoplifting to receive high-quality legal advice and representation.

Steps to Take If Accused of Shoplifting

If you find yourself accused of shoplifting, taking the right steps is crucial to protecting your legal rights and building a strong defense. Here’s what you should do:

1. Contact a Lawyer Immediately.

The first and most critical step is to contact a New Jersey shoplifting lawyer. An experienced attorney can provide essential guidance and representation from the outset.

2. Preserve Any Evidence.

Gather any receipts, transaction records, or witness information that may support your case. This evidence can be pivotal in disproving the accusations.

3. Avoid Discussing the Case.

Do not discuss the details of the case with store personnel, law enforcement, or even friends and family. Any statements made could be used against you. Communicate information about the case only with your lawyer, who will advise you on the best course of action.

By following these steps, you can help ensure that your rights are protected and that you have the strongest possible defense. Forrester Law Firm, a leading shoplifting defense attorney in Flemington, NJ, is here to assist you through every stage of your case, providing trusted legal counsel and representation. Contact us today for immediate assistance.

How Forrester Law Firm Can Help

Facing shoplifting charges can be daunting, but with the right legal assistance, you may be able to effectively fight these accusations.

Navigating shoplifting charges without professional help can lead to severe consequences. An experienced lawyer provides the skills needed to challenge the charges.

Here’s how Forrester Law Firm can assist you as your trusted New Jersey shoplifting lawyer:

Exploring Common Shoplifting Defense Strategies

Certain defense strategies can be employed to protect your rights and potentially mitigate the consequences. Our firm excels in preparing strong defense strategies, leveraging our deep understanding of shoplifting laws.

  • Lack of intent: Demonstrating that there was no intention to steal
  • Mistake: Proving that the act was a genuine mistake, such as forgetting to pay
  • False accusation: Showing that the accusation is baseless or incorrect

Your shoplifting defense attorney in Flemington, NJ, can help you understand your options when facing shoplifting charges and formulate a strong defense strategy.

Gathering Evidence and Witness Statements

The success of your defense hinges on evidence. Our New Jersey shoplifting lawyer is adept at gathering crucial evidence to build your case. This work includes collecting receipts, video footage, and other relevant evidence, as well as identifying and interviewing witnesses who can support your defense. We meticulously gather and analyze all available evidence to build a robust defense for you.

Through our skill in defense preparation and thorough evidence collection, Forrester Law Firm provides comprehensive legal support, ensuring that every aspect of your case is meticulously handled.

Why Choose Forrester Law Firm?

Choosing the right legal representation is crucial when facing shoplifting charges. Here’s why Forrester Law Firm stands out:

Amber L. Forrester’s Certification and Experience

Amber L. Forrester is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey, highlighting her skills and commitment to excellence in criminal defense. With years of experience defending clients against shoplifting charges, Amber L. Forrester has a proven track record of success.

Personalized Defense Strategies

We understand that every case is unique. Our approach involves crafting personalized defense strategies that are specifically designed to address the nuances of your case.

Client-Centered Focus

We prioritize our clients’ needs, ensuring that you receive the best possible defense and support throughout the legal process.

At Forrester Law Firm, we combine our extensive experience with a dedicated, client-focused approach to provide exceptional legal representation. Contact us today to work with a leading New Jersey shoplifting lawyer and secure a strong defense against your charges.

Contact Forrester Law Firm for a Free Case Evaluation

If you’re facing shoplifting charges, timely legal guidance is crucial. Our experience as a shoplifting defense attorney in Flemington, NJ, ensures that you receive knowledgeable and effective representation from the start.

Forrester Law Firm offers a free consultation to discuss your case. This initial consultation allows us to understand the specifics of your situation and provide you with a clear overview of your legal options.

Don’t wait—reach out to Forrester Law Firm now for the legal support you need to safeguard your rights and build a robust defense strategy. Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.

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