Shoplifting Charge Dismissed in Somerset County Municipal Court

One of the biggest problems facing people charged with certain types of criminal offenses is the possibility of deportation. This is certainly the case with shoplifting offenses because it is considered a “crime of moral turpitude” under the immigration laws. Under most circumstances it will take two of these to land you in removal proceedings, but it depends on the status you are currently protected under. Green card or visa, illegal etc. all play into the consideration. And any granting of permanent residence or citizenship is discretionary under most circumstances.

In addition, certain professional licensing boards, including nursing and teaching, keep close tabs on their professionals, and will flag a licensee upon receipt of the notice that he or she has been charged with a crime. Depending upon the outcome of the case, a loss of license could result and this means termination from employment.

The person I was representing had both issues.

Thankfully there was a sufficient legal argument to leverage an alternate resolution. Under most circumstances, plea bargaining is not allowed by the law in shoplifting, but if you can establish a credible legal defense, some form of it may go on. That is what happened in this case. Through independent alternative dispute resolution and a willingness on behalf of the defendant to participate in mitigating activities, the prosecutor recommended a dismissal after a 60 day stay.





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