Community Service

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Community Service for Shoplifting Conviction

Shoplifting charges in New Jersey carry many serious penalties including probation, community service, and even mandatory jail. This section focuses of the requirements of community service for a shoplifting conviction and your responsibilities of such if they judge orders you to complete it. Community service will normally be handled by the County Probation department. They will typically provide you with a list of approved programs or facilities and a timeline in order to finish the community service. Moreover, if you live in a different county or state then where the offense took place, they can usually transfer your probation supervision to your home state or county. For a first shoplifting conviction, you will be ordered to complete at least 10 days of community service. For a second conviction, the minimum increases to 15 days of community service. Finally, for a third or subsequent conviction of shoplifting, the requirement changes to a maximum of 25 days of community service. It is also important to note that a third shoplifting conviction carries a mandatory 90 day jail sentence. For purposes of community service, one day is normally considered 8 hours of work.

Can I Get Out of Community Service for Shoplifting?

No – community service is mandatory for all shoplifting offenses as mentioned above, the length of community service can depend on the amount of prior shoplifting convictions and the judge’s sentence. The only way to avoid community service is to avoid a shoplifting conviction in the first place. Once sentenced to community service after a shoplifting conviction, the county probation office will oversee the community service and make sure it is fulfilled correctly. If you fail to complete the community service or complete it within a timely manner then they can send the case back to the judge who first order the community service and he or she can re-sentence you to a longer term of probation or even jail for failure to comply with the court’s order. Many people express concerns about being able to complete the community service because they work full-time, take care of children or elderly parents. These concerns should be brought to the attention of your probation officer who may be able to offer opportunities to do the community a night or on the weekends so that it does not impede with life’s necessities. No matter what community service can be cumbersome and that is why it is always better to hire an experience New Jersey shoplifting lawyer so they can challenge the charges against you in hopes of a dismissal or downgraded charge that does not require community service.