Arrested for Shoplifting in Paramus Garden State Plaza
Westfield Garden State Plaza Mall is home to a wide variety of stores, places to dine, and entertainment opportunities. This shopping center in Paramus, New Jersey boasts two levels of over 300 stores so that there is sure to be something for everyone. It is the largest mall in New Jersey, with over two million square feet of retail space. With a large amount of variety in this mall, it is no wonder that it is consistently ranked one of the most popular shopping locations in New Jersey. As is to be expected, it is also fairly common that shoplifting occurs here. It has heavy foot traffic and many high-end stores, which also means that security is frequently on the lookout for alleged shoplifters. If you or a loved one is caught or accused of a stealing or trying to take merchandise in Garden State Plaza, chances are that you will be charged with shoplifting. Believe it or not, there are other ways that you can face a shoplifting too, such as under-ringing an item, taking a price tag off, removing a security tag, or otherwise attempting to not pay the full value of an item to the store. This may even happen to you where you work.
If you or a loved one is facing a shoplifting charge from Garden State Mall in Paramus, you should consider speaking with an attorney to find out what the consequences are and what options you may have to defend the case. Call our experienced shoplifting lawyers at (201)-330-4979 to discuss your defense in Paramus Municipal Court or Bergen County Superior Court. We have successfully handled countless shoplifting charges out of this mall and Paramus in general, and we can help. A member of our team is available day and night to provide you with a free consultation so don’t hesitate to call or contact us online today.
Shoplifting Charges – Paramus and NJ
There are several classifications of shoplifting charges in New Jersey. While these are not specific to the Garden State Plaza or Paramus, they frequently come up at this location. In general, shoplifting is defined as purposefully trying to obtain merchandise without paying the full value of it to the seller. The operative word in that definition is “purposefully.” If you accidentally take something without realizing it, that is not shoplifting. You must have meant to remove the item from the store. Shoplifting can also include removing tags so that the price checker cannot determine the price of the item, changing tags on an item, or even removing a shopping cart from a store. Shoplifting can also apply to Garden State Plaza employees when they undercharge for an item when they are not permitted to provide such a discount.
Paramus Shoplifting Charge – What am I Facing?
Shoplifting in New Jersey can be considered a crime if the item that was taken has value, is the property of retailer, and the actor is attempting to or actually depriving the merchant of said value. If the value is below $200, then it is considered a disorderly persons offense, which has a maximum of six months in jail. If the item has a value of over $200, then it is a felony, and the penalties will vary based on the value of the item. For example, an item that is worth under $500 (but more than $200) has a maximum of 18 months in jail. However, if the item is over $500, but under $75,000, then you could face up to five years in prison. If the value of the item is over $75,000, then you could see up to 10 years in prison. Fines usually accompany all these charges as well. You may also be ordered to reimburse the store for the value of the item that you took.
What Happens When Someone is Arrested at Garden State Mall?
In most circumstances, shoplifters will be caught on the Garden State Plaza grounds. If they are, they are approached by a loss prevention officer. This person is not a state or local police officer, but a security guard that is employed by the mall. They will usually tell you about the charge and bring you to the loss prevention office to detain you until police arrive. While they are not usually allowed to touch you, they can hold you if shoplifting is suspected. The mall can also charge you fines independent of the criminal charges as well. Then, they have the option to press charges in addition to imposing these fines. You will be arrested, taken to jail, processed, and typically released pending your first court appearance.
Where your case is heard and decided depends on whether you have been charged with an indictable crime or a disorderly persons offense. Disorderly Persons offense shoplifting cases are handled in the local municipal court in Paramus, while all indictable felony charges for second, third, and fourth degree crimes are sent to the Bergen County Superior Court in Hackensack. The good news is, there are lots of options to resolve a shoplifting case including getting the charges downgraded and penalties reduced, gaining enrollment in a diversionary program like Conditional Dismissal if you have no prior record, or using an effective defense for shoplifting and getting the charges dismissed.
Need a Shoplifting Defense Lawyer in Paramus NJ
Never admit guilt if you are charged with shoplifting. Get a member of the team at our criminal defense firm in Bergen County involved as soon as possible instead. You have rights in this situation and you should assert them! And we can help. Call (201)-330-4979 for more information and discuss your case with an attorney free of charge.