Our firm has occasion to represent many individuals charged with shoplifting every year and, not surprisingly, this results in numerous cases involving the Mall at Short Hills. The question that prospective shoplifter clients almost uniformly ask is “what is going to happen to me”. This inquiry is not easy to respond to with respect to Shoplifting Charges in Millburn Municipal Court. The reason for this statement is the fact that the Short Hills Mall and its prosecutor take the sanctity of the community especially serious as it relates to shoplifting. The amendment of shoplifting charges to a municipal ordinance, something that allows individuals to avoid a criminal conviction and record, is not the norm in Millburn Municipal Court. It takes much more in terms of lawyer effort and skill to accomplish this objective. Thankfully, the attorneys at our law firm possess significant knowledge in this area and this paid off for our client yesterday.
I represented a 57 year old woman in Millburn Municipal Court yesterday for attempting to steal a Burberry raincoat from a well known establishment in Short Hills. We initially attempted to get the client approved for Pretrial Intervention (PTI) but the Superior Court remanded the offense to Millburn notwithstanding the dollar amount involved. We thereafter encountered resistence in amending the complaint to a local ordinance violation. Our office was persistent and, with the assistance and cooperation of our client, we were able to have the charge amended. The client avoided a criminal record which was extremely important as she not a citizen of the United States – a shoplifting conviction could have been devastating. I believe that the same approach can be utilized by others in the future in hopes of overcoming the general rule against amendment of shoplifting charges in Short Hills and Millburn.