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Former State Prosecutor and Criminal Trial Attorney

Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

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Experienced for over 30 years

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Atlantic City, NJ Shoplifting Lawyer with Local Experience Helps Get Your Theft Charges Dismissed


Shoplifting is rampant on the Jersey Shore, especially thefts from vendors on the boardwalk and in casino stores. Similarly, shoplifting arrests are up, too, because police take shoplifting seriously in Atlantic City. If you have been charged with shoplifting or another count of theft, it is crucial that you speak with an attorney as soon as possible because the consequences of a shoplifting conviction are severe. Not only are you looking at potential jail time and heavy fines; you may also end up with a permanent criminal record.

John W. Tumelty provides strong criminal defense in the Atlantic City area and anywhere else in South Jersey. Mr. Tumelty has 30 years of criminal law experience as both a state prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer. He is passionate about representing clients facing shoplifting charges because he knows that they are entitled to an aggressive and successful defense.

A Shoplifting Conviction in New Jersey Can Leave You with a Permanent Criminal Record

Shoplifting offenses are the most common theft crimes in New Jersey. Shoplifting generally refers to theft from a retail merchant. This can include removing an item from a store without paying for it or concealing an item with the intent to steal it.

The penalties for shoplifting violations are set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11. These penalties are based on the value of the goods that were taken:

  • $75,000.01 or greater: The most serious shoplifting offenses are punishable by a sentence of between five and 10 years in New Jersey State Prison.
  • $500.01 to $75,000: A conviction can result in a term of incarceration of between three and five years in NJ State Prison.
  • $200.01 to $500: Punishment of up to 18 months in state prison.
  • $0.01 to $200: Punishable by up to three months in the local county jail.

The penalties can be enhanced if you have prior shoplifting convictions on your record. For example, a third shoplifting offense will result in mandatory jail time of at least three months.

A criminal defense attorney with an understanding of the law and experience in the local courts may be able to challenge the evidence against you and get your charges dismissed. Some defenses that can potentially be raised on your behalf include:

  • Disputing the prosecution’s evidence against you by challenging the constitutionality of the search and undermining the credibility of witnesses at trial
  • Encouraging the retailer to drop the charges by providing restitution
  • Demonstrating that your state of mind at the time of the incident was such that you were not criminally culpable
  • Depending upon the circumstances, it might also be possible to get your shoplifting offense downgraded to a more favorable criminal charge like disorderly conduct or trespassing

Experienced Theft Crime Attorney Offers Aggressive Defense against Shoplifting Charges in Cape May and Atlantic Counties

Although shoplifting might be considered a “minor” crime, it can still have a sizable impact on your life. Whether you are a local resident or a Jersey Shore visitor who has been charged with shoplifting, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with South Jersey courts. Being arrested and charged with shoplifting can ruin a fun weekend getaway quickly.

John Tumelty is an Atlantic County and Cape May County theft crime defense attorney who has vast resources that he will use to help you beat your criminal charges. Regardless of the degree of your charge, he will treat it with the respect and seriousness it deserves because he understands that this is the most important thing in your life right now. Call or email Mr. Tumelty today to schedule a free consultation at one of his offices in Marmora and Somers Point.

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