There are always a high number of shoplifting arrest in New Jersey. This is especially the case in towns and cities with large shopping complexes like Short Hills. But with an extended period of economic downturn in our country, people are feeling the pressure to maintain, albeit with much less money. Unfortunately, this can mean more shoplifting arrest and charges than usual.
I understand that you may be playing the “tape” over and over again in your head and asking yourself how could you have made such a bad judgement call. Or maybe you have been falsely accused by an overzealous mall cop. Whatever the case may be, the State must still prove each and every element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt, and if I run into a situation that calls for it, I will go to trial and make the State do just that. The truth is that with shoplifting cases the municipal prosecutor may very well want to go to trial. This is because of prosecutorial guidelines that prosecutors must follow (but not all do. This is also not the case with indictable shoplifting charges such as 4th and 3rd degree. PTI may be available in this instance, but not in the municipal court ).
If you are a first offender, and the State does not want to downgrade your charges for proof problems (or rejects PTI in the Superior Court), then it is highly likely that I would elect to go to trial. You can plead guilty by yourself. You don’t need a lawyer to do that. First offense shoplifting is highly unlikely to result in jail time. So, knowing that shoplifting charges are tough to prove in many instances, and faced with a situation where pre-trial negotiations are at an impass, trial may be the best option.
Of course, I would do everything in my power to negotiate a pre-trial resolution that carries the least exposure for my client. This could mean several court appearances. The point is that a lawyer who has lots of experience handling shoplifting charges will give you the best chance all around….whether it be in pre-trial negotiations or trial.
I am ready to answer all of your questions, because I know you have many. The consultation is free