Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Free Consultations Calls answered and returned 24/7
New City Criminal Defense Attorney
Free Consultations Calls answered and returned 24/7

Common Shoplifting Defenses In New Jersey


If you were accused of shoplifting in Bergen County, you can still escape legal consequences. Numerous defense strategies may prove effective in this scenario, and the most appropriate option depends entirely on your unique situation. While an internet article can provide you with a few ideas of possible defense strategies, an in-person consultation offers more accurate, targeted legal guidance based on your circumstances. 

Mistaken Identity 

One potential defense strategy is mistaken identity. In other words, police arrested the wrong person. Perhaps you look very similar to the person who committed the offense – or maybe you were wearing the same outfit. You might have driven the same car as the individual who fled the scene. Perhaps you were hanging out with friends, and you were arrested alongside another shoplifter – despite not even being aware that they were pocketing items. Whatever the case may be, mistaken identity is a legitimate defense strategy when it comes to shoplifting. 

Lack of Intent 

Generally speaking, intent is a required “element” of shoplifting. In other words, you cannot be convicted of shoplifting if you never intended to take items from the premises. Perhaps you absent-mindedly stuffed an item in your sweater pocket because you forgot to bring a tote bag. Maybe you accidentally walked out without paying. As long as you show compelling evidence that you lacked intent, you cannot be convicted. 

Lack of Evidence 

As with all criminal cases, prosecutors must establish your guilt “beyond reasonable doubt.” Courts will presume your innocence unless prosecutors can prove otherwise. If they fail to do this, you will walk free. Even if prosecutors present certain evidence against you, an experienced criminal defense lawyer can call this evidence into question. Perhaps the surveillance footage is too grainy to adequately depict the scene of the alleged crime. Maybe no one actually saw you take the items. Perhaps an eyewitness has vision problems – making their testimony unreliable. These are just a few examples that can cast doubt upon evidence. 

Plea Deals 

If the evidence seems overwhelming, you can always pursue a plea deal instead. If you do not have a criminal record, you should experience leniency from criminal courts in New Jersey. Diversionary programs may allow you to escape criminal charges if you complete certain programs – including community service. As long as you follow the guidelines, your shoplifting offense might not even go on your permanent record. Your criminal defense lawyer can help you determine whether a plea deal is the right option. 

Find a Qualified Shoplifting Defense Attorney in Bergen County 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced shoplifting defense attorney, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. We know that shoplifting charges can seem quite daunting – but there is always hope for positive outcomes. No matter how bad your situation might seem, you can move forward with confidence after selecting an appropriate defense strategy. To learn more, book a consultation at your earliest convenience.




Contact Our Firm

Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

Locations & Directions

10 Esquire Road, Suite 10
New City, New York 10956

We Accept

  • Master Card
  • American Express
  • Discover
  • Visa

Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
- Home - Site Map -

MileMark Media - Practice Growth Solutions

© 2015 - 2024 Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.

Contact Form Tab