Articles Posted in Theft

The attorneys of Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo appeared in municipal courts across three different municipalities to represent clients facing shoplifting charges. Shoplifting is defined in Title 2C:20-11 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. The charge includes not only purposely taking store merchandise, but also purposefully concealing merchandise or altering or removing any price tag or label. The degree of shoplifting or the severity of sentencing primarily depends on the retail value of the items taken or the pecuniary loss sustained by the shopkeeper or store. Under Title 2C:20-11 shoplifting is a second degree crime if the value of merchandise taken is $75,000 or greater, third degree if greater than $500 but less than $75,000, 4th degree crime if at least $200 but does not exceed $500, and only a disorderly person offense if the amount is less than $200.

One of the key aspects of formulating a defense to shoplifting is discovery requests from the state. All three of the defendants being represented by Lubiner, Schmidt & Palumbo had been in and out of court for many months. As defense attorneys in these shoplifting cases, we utilized critical strategies, including procedural arguments rebutting the production of discovery, in an effort to dismiss flawed charges. Most notably, the prosecutor(s) from each case had failed to produce discovery by neglecting to bring forth proper video footage of each alleged theft.

Generally, a court should not dismiss a case for failure to produce discovery. However, in State v. Holup, the court held that if the appropriate motion is filed giving the notice that discovery was not produced in a case, with a request that a time be set by the court for the production of said discovery, then a failure to do so after the court’s set time may lead to a dismissal of the counsel’s charges.  Such motions are more commonly referred to as Holup Orders.

Perth Amboy Police recently arrested a hospital security guard for allegedly stealing the credit card of a patient at the hospital. Police reports said that the 34-year-old man withdrew more than $1,400 from the woman’s account while she was undergoing treatment.

According to, the woman’s purse was left behind in the emergency room when she was transferred to another room. A hospital orderly turned the purse over to the suspect who allegedly removed the debit card and left the hospital during his shift.

The hospital security guard allegedly used the stolen credit card to withdraw money at a fast food restaurant. He reportedly returned to the hospital to find the victim speaking with a police officer. The man then attempted to give back the stolen money, but was charged with theft under a bail of $5,000.

New Jersey Criminal DefenseA financial adviser from Morris County was recently sentenced to five years in state prison for allegedly defrauding his elderly parents out of more than $1.3 million.

The 50-year-old had been acting as his parents’ financial adviser, who gave him their retirement money to invest on their behalf.

Due to the conviction, the financial adviser will also have his insurance-producer license suspended for the duration of his sentence.

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