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Elliot S Stomel
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Elliot Stomel’s Answers

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  • I was caught shoplifting $231 worth merchandise.if convicted it will be my 1st time. what a i looking at as far as sentencing ?

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    Elliot’s Answer

    In New Jersey, shoplifting constitutes a crime of the fourth degree if the full retail value of the merchandise is at least $200.00 but does not exceed $500.00. If this is your first offense, a jail sentence is unlikely; however, there is a mandatory period of community sentence for at least 10 days. If convicted, you will also be strapped with a criminal record. I strongly recommend that you seek legal counsel. The right attorney may be able to have your charge downgraded to a disorderly persons offense and returned to the municipal court. Alternatively, you may be a good candidate for a diversionary program known as Pretrial Intervention. Please see my legal guide: "New Jersey: The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)" for more information.

    (4) Shoplifting is a disorderly persons offense under subsection b. of this section if the full retail value of the merchandise is less than $200.00.

    The value of the merchandise involved in a violation of this section may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense where the acts or conduct constituting a violation were committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same person or several persons, or were committed in furtherance of or in conjunction with an organized retail theft enterprise.

    Additionally, notwithstanding the term of imprisonment provided in N.J.S.2C:43-6 or 2C:43-8, any person convicted of a shoplifting offense shall be sentenced to perform community service as follows: for a first offense, at least ten days of community service; for a second offense, at least 15 days of community service; and for a third or subsequent offense, a maximum of 25 days of community service and any person convicted of a third or subsequent shoplifting offense shall serve a minimum term of imprisonment of not less than 90 days.

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  • I got charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1A(2) (forgery)

    I got charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1A(2) (forgery) I have a court date on the 14th and i wanted to know what am i looking at? How much will I have to end up paying and will that include jail time? I used someone else's credit card and made a few pu...

    Elliot’s Answer

    N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1a(2) states that a person is guilty of forgery "if, with purpose to defraud or injure anyone, or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor...makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act or of a fictitious person, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed."

    Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments, certificates or licenses issued by the government, New Jersey Prescription Blanks as referred to in R.S. 45:14-14, or part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interest in or claims against any property or enterprise, personal identifying information or an access device. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be a check. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be 15 or more forged or altered retail sales receipts or universal product code labels. Otherwise forgery is a crime of the fourth degree.

    If you are being charged as a third degree crime (and you probably are), the Court could sentence you to a period of incarceration for 3 to 5 years. However, it is extremely unlikely that you will be sentenced any jail time if this is your firs offense. Better yet, you sound like you may be a good candidate for a diversionary program called "Pretrial Intervention PTI)". If accepted into this program, the court would suspend the proceedings and place you on probation for a period of one year. If you successfully satisfy the conditions of your probation, the charge would be dismissed at the end of the year. After another six-month period, you could make application to the Curt to have the record of your arrest expunged. For additional information, see my legal guides:

    "New Jersey: The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)"; and
    "Expungements in the State of New Jersey"

    I strongly recommend that you retain an attorney to represent you in this matter.

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  • If i want to be a cop and being charged for simple assault will that jeopardize my chances?

    my sons mother is trying to charge me with simple assault I did not touch her, I just threatened to call the cops if she drives with my son in the car because she has a suspended license and she tried to punch me. i then did yell and curse at her ...

    Elliot’s Answer

    The charge of "simple assault" is a disorderly persons offense. Nevertheless, a conviction for this violation can certainly impact upon your chances of becoming a police officer. Given the choice between two equally qualified candidates, the police academy will obviously select the one without the simple assault conviction on his record. A conviction for this violation could also send up a red flag that you may have anger management issues, and this is not something that is a preferred quality in a police officer. I strongly recommend that you retain an attorney immediately to assist you in making sure that you do not convicted of an offense you did not commit.

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  • What are the grounds for divorce in new jersey?

    what are the grounds for divorce in new jersey?

    Elliot’s Answer

    The grounds for divorce in New Jersey are as follows:
    1. separation for 18 consecutive months ("no fault" divorce);
    2. extreme cruelty (physical or mental cruelty);
    3. adultery;
    4. willful desertion for at least one year;
    5. habitual drunkeness or addiction for at least 12 consecutive months;
    6. institutionalization for mental illness for at least 24 consecutive months;
    7. deviant sexual conduct.

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  • Was just indicted for 2c:35-10a(1)

    I was pulled over and had my pain killer pills in a bottle with no name on it I usually take my days supply with me and don't like bringing the whole prescription of 120 and 90 pills. Cause they are narcotics and people like to steal them so I tak...

    Elliot’s Answer

    Theoretically, your charge should be mended to a violation of failing to have your prescription medication in a properly labeled bottle. While this offense is less serious, it is nevertheless a criminal violation. I strongly recommend that you retain a lawyer to represent you in this matter. An experienced attorney will know ways to deal with this situation, especially if this is your first offense.

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  • I was caught shoplifting merchandise totaling 25 dollars am i looking at community service or just fines?

    im just curious if its worth getting a lawer over 25 dollars?

    Elliot’s Answer

    If this is your first offense, the Court will impose a minimum of 10 days of community service.

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  • I was caught shoplifting merchandise totaling 25 dollars am i looking at community service or just fines?

    im just curious if its worth getting a lawer over 25 dollars?

    Elliot’s Answer

    If this is your first offense, the Court will impose a minimum of 10 days of community service.

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  • Accident in NJ with a police report. I didn't get a ticket at the scene can I still get one?

    While driving I didn't notice a light had just turned red and ran the intersection. As the cross traffic began to move, one of the vehicles struck my side fender. After pulling over to the side police were called and a report taken. My vehicle ...

    Elliot’s Answer

    The police can issue a summons for a minor moving violation up to 30 days following the accident.

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  • Can I charge theft by deception

    I paid a guy to fix my windows. He told me not to touch them for 24 hours. When I went to the windows the next day I found he did absolutely nothing. I also paid him money for a new air conditioner on the same day that he never delivered. I ha...

    Elliot’s Answer

    The mere fact that a contractor has not performed the work you paid him for does not automatically constitute "theft by deception". You must demonstrate that there was an "intent" to commit a theft. Notwithstanding the foregoing, I would still recommend that you go ahead and file the criminal complaint with the police department.

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  • If my license is suppended in nj can i get one in ohio

    im trying to get a job and move to ohio but the job i want i need a license for ohio

    Elliot’s Answer

    Not likely...the first question most state motor vehicles ask when you apply for a license is whether your license is currently suspended or revoked in any other state. They also perform an interstate computer check. if your license is suspended in New Jersey, your application for an Ohio license will be denied. The better route to go is to consult with an attorney to look into the possibility of getting your New Jersey license restored. If you are successful in doing so, you will be able to get a license in any state.

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