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?

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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


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

Answered 14 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 14 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,

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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