i NEED to find out the meaning of the codes 2c:20-11b(1) for nJ I am being charged with 2 counts and I need to understand it

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i NEED to find out the meaning of the codes 2c:20-11b(1) for nJ I am being charged with 2 counts and I need to understand it

I am being charghed with shoplifting but i never left the store with any items and the stor allowys u or gives u bags to put your items in. the cops came into the store and arrested me i never walked out or was i ever giving any reason to give them a reason to arrest me at that time. I did have about 1500. houndred dollars of merchandise in the bags but like i said i never left the stor with the items and they provide bags or carts for u to put the merchandise in help me

Asked on June 24, 2009 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


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

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

All of this is fact-sensitive. I need to see all of the discovery in your case, that is to say, the 

investigation reports, arrest reports, statements by witnesses, statements by you (if any),

videotapes (if any), eyewitness accounts, criminal records (if any), accomplices (if any), a 

transcript of the grand jury testimony, etc., etc., etc. And, perhaps most importantly, I need to

talk at length with you. Call me at (732)932-7226 (office) or (732)710-0004 (cell).

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

2C:20-11  Shoplifting.

     a. Definitions.  The following definitions apply to this section:

         (1) "Shopping cart"  means those push carts of the type or types which are commonly provided by grocery stores, drug stores or other retail mercantile establishments for the use of the public in transporting commodities in stores  and markets and, incidentally, from the stores to a place outside the store;

         (2) "Store or other retail mercantile establishment"  means a place where merchandise is displayed, held, stored or sold or offered to the public for sale;

         (3) "Merchandise"  means any goods, chattels, foodstuffs or wares of any type and description, regardless of the value thereof;

         (4) "Merchant" means any owner or operator of any store or other retail mercantile establishment, or any agent, servant, employee, lessee, consignee, officer, director, franchisee or independent contractor of such owner or proprietor;

         (5) "Person" means any individual or individuals, including an agent, servant or employee of a merchant where the facts of the situation so require;

        (6) "Conceal" means to conceal merchandise so that, although there may be some notice of its presence, it is not visible through ordinary observation;

        (7) "Full retail value" means the merchant's stated or advertised price of the merchandise;

        (8) "Premises of a store or retail mercantile establishment" means and includes but is not limited to, the retail mercantile establishment; any common use areas in shopping centers and all parking areas set aside by a merchant or on behalf of a merchant for the parking of vehicles for the convenience of the patrons of such retail mercantile establishment;

        (9)  "Under-ring" means to cause the cash register or other sale recording device to reflect less than the full retail value of the merchandise;

      (10)  "Antishoplifting or inventory control device countermeasure" means any item or device which is designed, manufactured, modified, or altered to defeat any antishoplifting or inventory control device;

      (11)  "Organized retail theft enterprise" means any association of two or more persons who engage in the conduct of or are associated for the purpose of effectuating the transfer or sale of shoplifted merchandise.

   b.Shoplifting.  Shoplifting shall consist of any one or more of the following acts:

       (1)  For any person purposely to take possession of, carry away, transfer or cause to be carried away or transferred, any merchandise displayed, held, stored or offered for sale by any store or other retail mercantile establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use or benefit of such merchandise or converting the same to the use of such person without paying to the merchant the full retail value thereof.

Here's a link to an article that will more fully explain the statute: 


Basically, the law in this case provides for a "graded" penalty - the higher the value of the goods taken the harsher the penalty and consequences.  If you are a first time offender that will help to some degree.

You should consult with a criminal attorney in your area on this.  

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 AttorneyPages.com 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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