Kearny has a very busy court and one of the most common charges we often see are shoplifting crimes. This is because Kearny is home to several large franchises including Walmart. The Loss Prevention Officers (security guards) are well trained and know what kind of suspicious activity to look for. They will normally monitor a suspect’s activities by video and on-floor surveillance. This normally means that they will have strong proofs and evidence against anyone arrested for shoplifting. In turn, this leads people to feel like they do not have any basis to contest the charges against them or that it will be nearly impossible to beat the case. However, this is far from true – in fact our criminal attorneys are often able to secure a dismissal, downgrade, or admittance into a diversion program for our clients so that the charges do not result in a conviction and permanent criminal record.
Shoplifting is a specific type of Theft Crime, and like all other theft crimes, the gradation (degree) depends on the amount of merchandise that was allegedly taken. For instance, any amount under $200 is considered a disorderly persons offense and the case will be handled in Kearny Municipal Court. If the merchandise is worth more than $200 then the charges will be upgraded to an indictable crime and sent to Hudson County Superior Court. Almost all indictable crimes in Hudson County are first sent to Central Judicial Processing “CJP” where the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office will screen the cases. Often times, depending on the merchandise and circumstances, our attorneys are able to secure a downgrade of the charges so they are remanded to municipal court. Once in municipal court, these charges can often be dismissed or downgraded to a municipal ordinance which does not result in a criminal record. In the alternative, if the case stays in Hudson County Superior Court as an indictable crime we will challenge the State’s case against you and work with the county prosecutor’s office toward a resolution that results in probation or admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention so the charges are dismissed upon completion. If you or your loved one has been charged with shoplifting in Kearny, New Jersey feel free to contact our office today at (201) 793-8018 for free consultation with an experienced criminal attorney who can answer your questions and address your concerns.