my boyfriend is charged with 2 counts of shoplifting (take, carry),crim attempt-substan step and conspiracy, in nj, what is the jail he’s facing?

my boyfriend never touched the merchandise, the guy he was with handled and touched everything, and the guy he was with , admitted to the cops that my boyfriend didnt have nothing to do with it. although they have both of them on camera entering and exiting the store together. How can my boyfriend be charged? And what time will he be facing if convicted?

Asked on June 16, 2009 under Criminal Law, New Jersey

Answers:

Martin Matlaga / Martin D. Matlaga, Esq., LLC

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Before we talk about jail exposure, let's start out with the constitutional law that says your

boyfriend is presumed innocent. Just because your boyfriend happens to be with someone who is

alleged to have committed a crime does NOT make your boyfriend "guilty." In fact, there are New

Jersey cases like State v. Shipp and State v. Whyte that stand for the propositions that "mere

knowledge" of an alleged crime and "mere presence" in the area of an alleged crime do NOT make

someone "guilty." Also, the guy with your boyfriend stated that your boyfriend had "nothing to do

with it." This information will be heard by the jury whether the "guy with your boyfriend" testifies

or not under State v. White, a New Jersey Supreme Court case that deals with what is known as

an inculpatory-exculpatory declaration against interest. Although the road will not be easy, I

honestly believe that your boyfriend's case can be defended successfully! Call me at (732)932-

7226 (office) or (732)710-0004 (cell)! And keep your chin up!

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

How much prison time is possible, if your boyfriend is convicted, depends on how much was taken.  If it's under $200, it's a disorderly persons offense and the maximum jail time is 6 months. From $200 to $500, it's a fourth degree crime punishable by up to 18 months in jail, and that goes to 3-5 years for a third degree crime if the amount is over $500, for anything under $75,000, and from there on up it's a second degree crime, 5-10 years.

I think your boyfriend needs a very good criminal lawyer.  One place to find qualified attorneys is the bar association's lawyer referral service, listed in your phone book, and another place is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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