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Shoplifting: a crime or a sickness?

Shoplifting is a very common occurrence and an equally common accusation and criminal charge. It occurs across the demographic spectrum — people from all walks of life have been accused, charged and convicted of shoplifting. But is the act of shoplifting in every case a simple breaking of the law? Studies have shown that other factors besides criminal intent may cause people to shoplift. These factors include low dopamine levels associated with mental diseases such as bipolar disorder, severe depression and anxiety, dissociative disorders and even traumatic brain injury. Many psychologists believe treatment rather than punishment is appropriate for accused shoplifters (more on this topic can be read here).

Shoplifting in New Jersey can result in serious penalties. In New Jersey a person can be charged with shoplifting for not just the physical stealing of merchandise, but also for the concealment of merchandise and for under-ringing (N.J.S.A. 2C:20-11). If the value of the merchandise shoplifted exceeds $200, the offense becomes an indictable one.

If you or someone you know has been accused of or charged with shoplifting it may not be your fault. Contact an experienced attorney. Call 866-339-7801 or e-mail New Jersey shoplifting defense attorneys at Jack Venturi Law today.

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