An elementary school teacher from Woodbridge was fired from her job in 2016 after she pleaded guilty to shoplifting charges. She recently made a legal bid to get her job back, but her bid was denied.

Her annual salary was $95,250.

The loss of a well-paying job is just one of the possible consequences you will face when convicted of shoplifting. Fines, jail time and community service are all part of the aftermath of a shoplifting conviction in the Garden State.

Fines and imprisonment

In all cases of shoplifting, the retail value of the stolen item is taken into consideration when determining your punishment.

  • If you are caught shoplifting for the first time, and the item taken was less than $200, you will spend 10 days or less in jail.
  • Shoplifting items valued between $200 and $500 carries a punishment of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • Shoplifting items valued between $500 and $75,000 carries a punishment of 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
  • Shoplifting items valued over $75,000 carries a punishment of 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.

Additional fines and community service

Regardless of the value of the item that was stolen, you will also be required to compensate the store in the form of a fine, which includes the court costs, the store’s legal fees and a civil penalty of $150. You will also have to perform community service, with the number of days determined by the number of prior offenses you have had.

Loss of employment

Some employers require you to report to them if you are arrested or charged with a crime. For instance, in the case mentioned above, the shoplifter was required by New Jersey law to inform her school district superintendent if she was “arrested or indicated for any crime or offense by any jurisdiction.”

She failed to report the incident, and therefore was fired from her job.

And finally, should you choose to hire a lawyer to represent you in the case, you will also have to pay attorney fees.

As you can see, you may pay a heavy price if you are convicted of shoplifting in New Jersey.