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Former prosecutor

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New Jersey Criminal Defense and DUI attorney
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Former State Prosecutor and Criminal Trial Attorney

Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for over 30 years

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Atlantic City Juvenile Shoplifting Attorney Represents Minors Charged with Theft Crimes


If you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been accused of committing a shoplifting crime in New Jersey, do not give in to the temptation to teach your child a lesson by allowing them to experience the full weight of their consequences. The “lesson” could irreparably damage their future because the New Jersey criminal justice system often imposes excessive consequences on juvenile shoplifters.

John W. Tumelty is a former state and assistant county prosecutor who investigated and prosecuted major felony crimes, including armed robbery, aggravated assault, and serious drug offenses. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Tumelty understands the NJ juvenile system very well. Now Mr. Tumelty focuses his practice exclusively on criminal, juvenile, and DWI defense in South Jersey, including Cape May County and Atlantic County. When you hire Mr. Tumelty, he will work hard to make sure that your child’s case stays out of adult court. He will also fight to protect your child’s rights at every stage of the process and make sure that your child’s future prospects are not hindered because of a criminal conviction.

What are the Consequences of a Conviction for Juvenile Shoplifting in New Jersey?

Juvenile shoplifting is a frequently charged offense in places like Wildwood and Cape May, as well as on the AC boardwalk. The casino stores and outlets in Atlantic City can often be very inviting and lead to thefts by minors. Unfortunately, if your child is found guilty of shoplifting, the consequences can be severe. There can be both criminal and civil penalties imposed in these cases.

On a first offense, a juvenile offender is unlikely to be sentenced to detention or jail. Most first-time juvenile offenders are required to pay restitution to the store owner. A first-time offender might also have to perform community service. However, these penalties will still leave a black mark on your child’s permanent record.

If your son or daughter has a prior conviction for shoplifting, or if the shoplifting charge is accompanied by a more serious charge like burglary or robbery, the penalties can be far more severe. For a second offense, your child may be looking at significant time in juvenile detention. It’s even possible that your child’s case will be heard in adult court, exposing them to prison time. This happens more often than you might think because any use of force while shoplifting – say, pushing a store employee or security guard while trying to leave the store – can lead NJ prosecutors to upgrade a shoplifting offense to a second degree robbery charge.

Whether your child faces shoplifting charges in juvenile court or more serious charges in municipal or superior court, it is crucial that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who understands both the adult and juvenile legal systems in New Jersey.

Don’t Risk Your Child’s Future; Contact an Experienced NJ Juvenile Shoplifting Lawyer Today

The consequences of a shoplifting conviction can be long-lasting and life-altering. A criminal record may impact their ability to get into the college of their choice and certainly obtain employment, as employers perform routine background checks before hiring. Do not put your child’s future at risk by failing to speak with a knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer like John W. Tumelty.

Mr. Tumelty has 30 years of criminal law experience in New Jersey. As a result, he has developed working relationships with many of the prosecutors in South Jersey. In fact, he probably knows the prosecutor in your case. Mr. Tumelty’s first priority in your case will be to get the charge dismissed as a de minimis offense that does not warrant severe punishment. Alternatively, Mr. Tumelty may be able to work out a deal with the prosecutor to get your child’s charge downgraded to a municipal ordinance violation. This is a non-criminal violation, meaning that your child will not be left with a criminal record. Additionally, working out a civil compromise with the store owner can potentially help your child avoid criminal consequences.

Call Mr. Tumelty day or night, or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation at his Marmora or Somers Point offices. He will be happy to sit down with you and discuss all available options for keeping your child’s record clean of a juvenile conviction.

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