Friday, December 16, 2011

Arrested for Shoplifting in New Jersey; How To Hire the Best N.J. Criminal Defense Attorney and Beat the Case.

In New Jersey being charged with shoplifting in municipal court can have serious consequences.  Not only can a conviction lead to a disorderly person’s conviction in municipal court in which a jail sentence could be imposed, but also have serious employment consequences and lead to the immediate loss of employment.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11 if the merchandise stolen, or attempted to be stolen, is valued at more than $500.00, but less than $75,000.00, it is a felony (3rd degree crime) and jurisdiction rests with the Superior Court. Any merchandise valued over $75,000.00 is a second degree crime.

In New Jersey anyone convicted of a shoplifting offense is automatically disqualified to be employed in the health care industry. 

Therefore, anyone employed in the health care industry such as a doctor, nurse, nurse’s assistant, home health aid; nursing home assistant, physical therapist, chiropractor, and nurse practitioner are automatically prohibited from working in the health field.  As soon as an arrest is made, the name of the person arrested is automatically scanned into the New Jersey Department of Health and Human Services Data base to determine whether that individual has a health care license in the State.  If they do, they are automatically flag and a letter goes out to the individual for a temporary suspension hearing, pending the resolution of the criminal charge. If a conviction results, automatic suspension follows.  This is referred to as being placed on the health care "black list".  In fact the health care black list is nationwide, and every State gives reciprocity
to every other State.  Therefore, if you are on the black list in New Jersey you are automatically on the black list in California and Florida and every other State in the Union.

If charged with the crime of shop-lifting there might be a number of defenses available to the defendant, including pleading to less serious charges of a non-criminal nature which would allow the defendant not to be placed on the health care black list.  

For example in all shop lifting cases the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person accused of shop-lifting did “purposely take possession of” the merchandise.  Therefore, if someone negligently, mistakenly or carelessly left the store without knowing that they had not paid for an item, and the trier of fact believed their testimony to be credible, there would be no crime.  Therefore, the defendant’s mental state at the time of the alleged crime would be of great significance, to wit, was there a serious illness or death in the family at the time of the incident.  Was the defendant thinking about something serious and just plain forgot about the item in their cart, etc.  Was the defendant on medication or sick at the time?  Was the defendant in a rush?

There are many other defenses and strategies to successfully fight the shoplifting charge and if charged with such a disorderly person’s offense in Municipal Court, or crime in Superior Court it is absolutely essential that you consult an experienced attorney who has been handling such cases for the last 21 years.  Attorney Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr., has handled successfully many of these cases, in which many of these shoplifting cases were disposed of by outright acquittals, pleas to less serious charges, which resulted in no criminal record, or adverse job consequences.

Sanzone Firm
Law Office of Vincent J. Sanzone, Jr.
P.O. Box 261
277 North Broad Street
Elizabeth, N.J. 07207
(908) 354-7006
Dated: December 16, 2011

Best criminal defense for the shoplifting charge in New Jersey

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