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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27259
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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Me and two others where in a store, I was waiting on them,

Customer Question

Me and two others where in a store, I was waiting on them, they decided they wanted to shop lift, and used the bags i was carrying to put merchandise that was equivalent to 210.00 of mens clothing in my bag. (i am a female) We where caught, and processed by cops. however when they asked for ID i gave them my real ID, but As i was taking it out the cop saw my fake ID (which by the way i had never used, it didnt even have a zipcode so i never planned on using it, honest to God) and TOOk it out of my wallet, (this happened before reading my rights to search or what not) and found out it was fake. In the end they found my friends fake as well. two of us where charged with having fakes (2C:21-2.1D A 4th,)and all of us for shoplifting (2C:20-11.B (2). the cops made it seem we would be ok? r we? first time offenders.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Criminal Law litigation attorney here to assist you.

 

Because of the value of the items taken, this would be considered 4th degree shoplifting, which carries a maximum fine of $10,000 and jail time of up to 18 months. Here's a link that outlines the different degrees and corresponding punishment: http://www.nj.gov/oag/dcj/agguide/shoplift.pdf

 

If the value was $10.00 less, you'd be looking at a disorderly offense and a maximum fine of $1000 and maximum imprisonment of 6 months.

 

The fake ID carries a penalty of up to 6 months in jail as well.

 

Because this is a first offense, I would not think that you would be looking at any jail time. Instead, a fine and community service is more probably. However, I would recommend that you consult a local criminal law attorney and have him/her try to get the prosecutor to reduce the shoplifting to a disorderly offense since you're so close (only $10.00 over) and try to reach a plea of probation, community service and a small fine for both charges.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If we just showed up to court would we be able to plead for a diversion agreement without an attorney? is having one needed to get this sponged from our record?
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

Yes, you can apply for pretrial intervention on your own as outlined here: http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/criminal/crpti.htm. As the website says, you need to apply for this as soon as possible. An attorney is helpful in making these types of applications and working a deal with the prosecutor so the application will go through without a hitch. However, if you want to try it on your own, you can do so.

 

You need to contact the superior court clerk and ask for help with getting this application filed.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can we wait till the court date since it is tuesday and ask for a PTI at court? or ask for a diversion at court? or does this have to be done before the court date?
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

You need to apply before the court date because the application must be processed before the hearing.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What is a diversion? and what are the chances of getting one in court? we are all first time offensers
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

It's pre-trial diversion. It allows you to avoid having these charges on your permanent record. Generally, you're put on probation for 1-3 years and you must perform community service, take random drug tests, etc. (the general conditions are on the PTI link provided above).

 

If you successfully complete the program, everything is erased and it's as if you were never arrested or charged with these offenses.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
If we show up to court, dressed nicely, plead guilty, it is our first offense, apologize, we are all considered adults, without an attorney what is going to happen? will we have a higher rate of going to Jail? will the judge put us in the diversion program right there and then? and this is in NJ.
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

I can't promise you what will happen for sure. The judge could put you in jail for 18 months and fine you $10,000.00. I don't think that's likely - but the law does allow it. That's why it's important for you to apply for PTI BEFORE the court date. If this gets approved before you go to court, you'll know what is going to happen instead of not knowing where this may lead.

 

As I said earlier, I doubt the judge would give you any jail time, but I can't promise that - no lawyer can promise you something like that because it's up to the judge.

 

I would recommend that you contact the court tomorrow morning and ask for help getting your application for PTI filed asap. I would not recommend that you wait until court and ask for PTI at that point.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok. is a PTI for only surpreme court? because it says we are going to a Municipal court.

sorry for so many questions thank you for all of your help this really means alot.
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
PTI is available to first time offenders charged with criminal or penal offenses in New Jersey criminal or municipal courts (see Admission guidelines listed at the PTI link provided earlier).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
about the ID problem

i had given the cop my ID and he then went into my wallet and grabbed the other one which was a fake.

in this situation the fake ID had nothing to do with the shoplifting,

and did the Cop violate the 4th amendment of searching my wallet because he had no reasonable doubt to look for a fake, which let to the fake ID charge.
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
Because of the shoplifting, the officer likely had probable cause to search through everything you had on your person, in your purse, etc. If the ID was found during the search, it is legal.

I don't think you should try to defend having a fake ID. You're better off applying for the PTI, get through it and move on with life.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
so if we all go down to the court tomorrow, and ask to apply for a PTI what are the chances of getting it approved?

and i how much of an impact does an attorney have if our PTI doesn't get approved? then if we dont have one when we go to court?

the cops where like saying to us "this isnt a big deal, you should be fine, your record will get sponged, ect"
so they made us seem like it would be ok.

and when where being held they had originally told us it would only come to 186.00, the cop said it, as well as the guy, but when we got our orders it was 210.00 should we mention that to the judge if we do go to court?
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

Applications are approved or disapproved on a case-by-case basis. However, the chances are good that it will be approved. However, you need to get moving on the application asap because there are interviews, etc. required to complete the process (read the link I provided about the application process).

 

An attorney will make your chances better with the application and also when you go to court. If you can afford an attorney, I would certainly recommend it.

 

Yes, you should mention that the amount changed from 186 to 210 as that is the difference between a 4th degree offense and a disorderly offense.

Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27259
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Roger and 10 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
we decided to go to the court tomorrow and talk to someone about the application and doing it, because online there is nothing about doing it online, i went to the link and found nothing but contacting the court as soon as possible. Are we doing the right decision?

if this gets approved what is our next step?

and how soon can our records get sponged?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
we decided to go to the court tomorrow and talk to someone about the application and doing it, because online there is nothing about doing it online, i went to the link and found nothing but contacting the court as soon as possible. Are we doing the right decision?

if this gets approved what is our next step?

and how soon can our records get sponged?
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
If you can get into the diversion program, that's the best result for this situation.

If it is approved, you will be advised with the next steps. You can get your record expunged once you complete the conditions of your diversion program.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
does the diversion program cost alot of money?
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.
It is cheaper than the regular process according to the link. However, I don't know the exact cost.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
will a Civil demand be issued, because it was really hectic to if we had to pay the store any money? they had mentioned like u pay 150, but then the guy got swamped by other stuff
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Relist: Incomplete answer.
please answer!
Expert:  Roger replied 2 years ago.

The court can make you pay restitution for the goods shoplifted. If restitution is made, there would be no need for a civil demand.

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