Charles Block Works to Reduce the Growing Shoplifting Epidemic

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

There are approximately 27 million people convicted of shoplifting in the world today, and then span a wide range of ages, gender and other demographics. In fact, 25 percent of shoplifters today are children and many older shoplifters have admitted they started shoplifting when they were younger. That is why there are dedicated criminal attorneys, like me, who work to avoid these statistics from growing.

If you are convicted of shoplifting, you can incur up to $1,000 in fines, almost $200 in court costs, a minimum of ten days of community services and up to 6 months in jail. What many shoplifters don’t know is that if you are a repeat offender, you will be facing a mandatory minimum 90 days in jail.

Why Shoplifting is So Prevalent

The problem with shoplifting is that you do not always get caught, which makes you want to continue shoplifting. There is a sort of excitement that comes from stealing and getting away with it, so you continue to shoplift in riskier ways until you eventually get caught.  Chasing this high will keep you from stopping, just like a drug addict feels when they are chasing their elusive highs.

Shoplifters need rehabilitation and not incarceration. In jail, they would not be getting the help they so desperately need. Attorneys like me will work hard to make sure your first-time mistakes do not repeat themselves and end up with you serving hard jail time.

Your Civil Rights in New Jersey

In the State of New Jersey, individuals accused of shoplifting are protected by certain civil rights. In some states a store employee has the right to search a suspected shoplifter, but in New Jersey, store employees do not have the right to perform unwarranted searches. Also, the police can only arrest an individual suspected of shoplifting if they have probable cause.

I will make sure my clients’ rights are not violated and do my best to insure that their charges are significantly reduced or dropped. I have been working in criminal law for over 32 years and have gained experience in working with clients accused of all types criminal offenses, including shoplifting.

Why You Should Act Now

Shoplifting occurs daily and continues to grow amongst children and adults. Shoplifting does not discriminate when it comes to age, race or gender and needs to be addressed head on before the epidemic grows even bigger. That is why I inform my clients that their mistakes are not their undoing and their lives can improve dramatically if the right steps are taken.

Don’t wait to accumulate more offenses and end up incarcerated.  By making sure you contact a criminal attorney immediately, you significantly improve your chances of a reduced sentence and another chance at a fulfilled life.

How to Contact Me

I, Charles Block, will work with my clients to reduce or expunge their criminal charges. I not only deal with criminal charges, but I am one of the most experienced traffic attorneys in New Jersey. Whatever mistake you made, I will work with you and the judicial system to clean it up.

For more information on my law firm and my services, including my work with clients who are facing shoplifting charges and DWI and DUI charges in the New Jersey area, continue to browse my website. To receive a consultation, call me at 856-741-1495.

3 Tips to Remember When Getting Your Record Expunged

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Life is difficult, and sometimes you make mistakes that hurt others and yourself. Your life does not have to be over just because you made a mistake. Re-evaluating your situation can help you gain perspective on how you want the rest of your life to turn out. You might find that the first step in improving your life would be to find a qualified expungement lawyer to remove those mistakes from your public record.

At Charles Block, we work with clients in New Jersey on their expungements. An expungement is essentially wiping the criminal charges off your record, so that they do not affect things like your future employment opportunities, buying a home or getting a loan. Having a clean slate will allow you to stop focusing on the past and start focusing on your bright future.

Are you interested in getting your criminal record expunged, but you do not know how to prove to the judicial system that you are no longer a criminal? Here are three tips to remember before you file for expungement

Tip # 1 – Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me: Show that you are not a career criminal

You want to show the judicial system that you are not going to continue a life of crime. Having a job, going to school and volunteering all show the judicial system that you are not a career criminal. You want to show them that you made mistakes, but that you are truly remorseful. This is the first step on your road to recovery and renewment.

Tip # 2 – Finish all of the terms of your sentence

In many states, your record will not be expunged unless you show the judicial system that you have completed all the terms of your sentence. This could include fines, probation, fees, community service and restitution. Completing all the terms of your sentence shows the judicial system that you are responsible, remorseful and dedicated to moving on with your life.

Tip # 3 – Get a full and accurate background check

Having all of the correct information about you on record is important to see before filing for an expungement. In order to obtain an expungement, you will need to provide the judicial system with a case number, dates and additional information on your background check.

To obtain this information, you can contact the local courthouse where your charges took place, reach out to other state agencies or visit the FBI website. Another way is to have your expungement lawyer, like Charles Block, obtain all the information on your behalf.

If you reside in New Jersey and your criminal offense involves drug charges, a conditional discharge may be available to you. A conditional discharge is a diversionary treatment program for drug offenders. You would attend this treatment program instead of facing a jail sentence.

For more information about the top expungement attorney in Haddonfield, NJ, as well as other parts of New Jersey, browse our website. You can also call 856-741-1495 for a consultation.

How to Come Prepared to Your Complimentary Legal Consultation for All Traffic/Criminal Matters

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

You’ve made a mistake, and now you’re in trouble with the law. With charges held against you, you could face life-altering penalties ahead. With hope to make the circumstances better, you contact me, Charles Block, the DUI and DWI lawyer serving Gloucester County, for legal help. We will schedule a consultation so we can meet to go over everything and see if you have a case. Being that I offer my clients a first initial meeting at no cost, you’ve got nothing to lose. But with everything on the line, you may be wondering how to make the best of the time spent during the appointment.

 

What’s the best way to come prepared? How can I reap the benefits of the one-hour complimentary meeting? -These are a few questions that may be on your mind. I too want the time to be used as wisely as possible, so that I can provide the best legal advice. By looking at this short guide, you can make sure that we can both work together effectively to get your legal issue resolved.

 

-          Bring any and all documents with you that are relevant to your situation.

-          Make a list of notes about your violation. You can use the list as a guide when going over the details with me.

-          Be completely honest with me when explaining the account – I want to be able to assess every detail. Our conversation is completely private and will not be revealed to anyone without your permission.

-          Bring a list of any questions you may have. I will provide the answers – that’s what I’m here for!

-          Be professional. You don’t have to wear a suit, but I always appreciate when my clients show that they take their case seriously.

-          Be on time. I want to utilize every minute of our time so that I can determine a winning legal strategy for your situation.

 

The more you come prepared, the less time it will take for me to understand and assess the charges held against you, such as a DWI and DUI offense in Gloucester County, NJ. I want to help you get a second chance at living life to the fullest! Contact me today to set up a free one-hour consultation concerning your offense.

What A Simple Assault Charge Can Cost You in the State of New Jersey

Thursday, August 11th, 2016

Perhaps you got into a drunken brawl at your favorite local bar a month ago with little to no memory of it happening but bruises to show for it; or, maybe you were trying to defend yourself from an unexpected attack by your best friend’s cousin, which had escalated from an argument. Whatever the situation may be, a physical altercation with someone that involved a mild injury (or two, or three) can result in life-altering penalties if charges are placed against you in New Jersey.

 


 

I find that many of my clients facing a simple assault charge do not realize how serious the consequences can be. Simple assault charges should not be taken lightly! As a skilled criminal lawyer based in Haddonfield, NJ, I can help you better understand the impact that a simple assault charge can have on your life. And of course, help you achieve a better outcome for the situation!

 

Even though simple assault charges are considered to be a low level offense on the scale of violent crime, they can result in a penalty no one wants to experience – jail time! Some individuals charged with simple assault do not consult a lawyer because they are unaware of how badly the penalties can affect their life. That is the worst mistake you could make in dealing with a simple assault charge. Once you have a simple assault charge on your record, getting a loan or a job becomes extremely difficult.

 

The punishment for a simple assault charge can entail six months or more of jail time, along with expensive fines of up to $1,000 or more. What you need is an experienced attorney on your side who will fight for your rights and provide you with legal guidance every step of the way. At my criminal law practice in Haddonfield, NJ, I represent my clients with a passion for helping them receive a second chance at making things right again.

 

I have helped my clients facing a simple assault charge get their charges reduced or dropped altogether. If you are charged with simple assault, allow me to speak with you about your options and hear your story. I’ll advise you on the legal circumstances, assist you with the handling of paperwork, and devise an effective strategy aimed at achieving a better outcome for your situation.

 

Contact me so we can schedule a meeting at no cost to you. I’ll evaluate your case to develop an approach that is focused on getting your charges reduced or dropped. A simple assault charge is not simple at all when it comes to your rights. But with my legal expertise, I’ll make the process easier.

Seven Legal Defenses of Drug Possession Cases

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

If you’ve been charged with a drug arrest such as sale or distribution, or possession with intent to sell, the effect of the consequences can be rough. With the charge hanging over your plate, you face a number of penalties such as possible jail time, fines, and license revocation. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but with me on your side, there is no need to be desperate. As an experienced criminal law attorney based in Haddonfield, NJ, I help my clients achieve a better outcome for their drug arrest case.

The ideal outcome we want for the case is to get your charges reduced or dropped so that you can get a second chance at a better life. A few years ago, the state of New Jersey reported that 78% of 47,168 drug-related arrests were accounted for possession. Because of that staggering number, expungements are a popular legal service, as they are conducted on a regular basis. While an expungement is something I can help you with, I can also devise a legal defense strategy focused on getting your charges reduced or dropped – similar to the favorable outcome of a DWI or DUI charge in Gloucester County, NJ.

 

After a first initial consultation, I assess the facts presented to me and investigate the charge to formulate the best approach. My findings may point to any one of several defenses commonly used in drug arrest cases. Here are several defenses to drug-related charges:

  1. Unlawful Search and Seizure – Drugs that were found after a heavy, organized search without permission of the defendant cannot be entered as evidence because the rights of the Fourth Amendment were violated.
  2. Wrongful Accusation of Possession – In this defense, the claim is that the drugs do not belong to the defendant. Prosecutors will be pressured to prove that the drugs did, in fact, belong to you, which can be difficult.
  3. Seized Substance Isn’t Proven as Illegal Drug – Not all drugs found in possession are actually the real thing. If the drug is not found to be illicit after crime lab analysis testing, the lab must testify at trial.
  4. Seized Drug Evidence is Missing – If the evidence doesn’t exist, prosecutors risk having the case dismissed. It is possible that the evidence may have gone missing between transfers.
  5. Drug Possession Was Set Up – This circumstance is difficult to prove, but if the informant has a large complaint file, those objections may come in handy. Those who made the complaints can be interviewed to use in the defense.
  6. Entrapment – In some cases, it is possible that an officer induced a suspect to commit a crime he or she would not have committed.
  7. The Exception of Medical Marijuana – The defendant should have a doctor’s signed recommendation for the use of medical marijuana. If arrested for possession, the defendant should be able to show convincing and clear evidence of medical necessity.

 

These are some of the defenses that could be used in your case, depending on the results of my investigation. I am fully devoted to protecting your rights and providing you with the best defense in the court of law. Schedule a meeting with me today by calling 856-753-1893.

Faced with a Shoplifting Charge? Here’s What You Should Do

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

You take one last glance around the department store to make sure no one is watching as you carefully tuck a couple of newly released CDs along the trim of your pants, lifting your shirt over them for concealment. Looking as casual as possible, you stroll through an unattended checkout line and out of the door, heart racing fast while remaining collected. A pang of excitement surges through your chest, knowing you’ve just succeeded in acquiring three collectible albums at no cost. YANK – your thoughts of victory are quickly thwarted by a strange pull at the back of your shirt, causing you to turn around and face the store’s head security guard, who had been watching you all along.

 

 

To your dismay, you’ve been caught. Now what? You’ve made a mistake and you have to face the consequences. Shoplifting is against the law and shouldn’t be taken lightly. In the last five years, more than ten million people have been caught shoplifting, according to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention. Many of these individual wind up facing penalties that can have a negative effect on one’s life. Depending on the severity of the shoplifting crime, the defendant is faced with hefty fines and possible jail time.

 

The shoplifting charge also shows up on public record, which could make it difficult to get hired. Rather than let the charges alter the plan you have for your life, hire an experienced lawyer who will fight for your rights. I, Charles Block, a criminal defense lawyer serving the Gloucester County, NJ area and the surrounding region, can help turn your situation around. I am well-versed in criminal law and have helped many of my clients get their shoplifting charges reduced or dropped.

 

If you get caught shoplifting, I advise you to invoke your right to counsel. Know that anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of law, so it’s crucial that you reject the urge to offer an innocent explanation, which could wind up leading to an admission of guilt. You should also make sure that you appear in court for your offense to avoid being found guilty by default or getting an arrest warrant.

 

As your lawyer, I will guide you every step of the way during the legal process and assess all of the facts to ensure your rights are protected. I will make sure that your shoplifting charge achieves the best possible outcome so that you can put the charge behind you for good. Call me today for a free consultation. I also provide legal assistance as a traffic attorney near Gloucester County, NJ, as well.

 

 

 

Top Crimes Committed During The Holiday Season

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

The 2014 holiday season is here.  Over the next month, people will be out shopping more than usual, decorating their homes as well as attending various holiday parties.  While the holidays are usually a time of happiness, there are many people that take advantage of the situation and the law during this time of year.  Therefore, what follows is a list of some of the top crimes committed during the holiday season.

Getting Your Identity Stolen

Even though this can happen at any time of the year, the risk for this happening around the holidays is heightened with more and more people using their credit cards in store and online.  In fact, back in 2013, millions of people who shopped at Target had their credit and debit card numbers stolen.  Not only was this a massive headache for Target, but the millions of people who shopped there were on high alert because of the fact that their identities might have been stolen, or they would have received miscellaneous charges to their card.  In the end, those who had shopped at Target during the security breach had their cards replaced and most monitored their accounts daily to ensure that they were not receiving any bogus charges.  Therefore, what are ways to prevent your identity being stolen?  Monitor your statements, and also pay attention to the news.  Even though banks are monitoring their clients’ accounts, they don’t catch everything so the key is to pay attention.

Stealing & Shoplifting

Not everyone has enough money to purchase the types of gifts they want.  So, what is one avenue they pursue?  Shoplifting.  Unfortunately, stealing merchandise is a lot easier to do during the holidays because of all the crowds as well as employees being more distracted than usual.  Although most employees are “trained” to single out a shoplifter, most cannot keep up and the company is forced to accept the loss.

DUI’s & DWI’s

While the holiday season is a time of celebrating, most people take it too far.  Unfortunately, drunk driving during this time of year is high.  Also, since the mid-2000s, the amount of accidents related to drug or alcohol has increased ever year.

It is a sad fact that there is such a high amount of crime committed during the holidays.  Those who need an attorney that is able to handle criminal law, DUI/DWI cases and more, feel free to contact Charles Block for a consultation regarding your case.

What Happens After You’re Arrested for a DUI ?

Friday, October 10th, 2014

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, you may not remember the events that lead to your arrest. But chances are you are very clear about the events that followed.  The worst time to learn about the significance of a DUI is when it’s happening.  While experience is a great teacher, it may be helpful to know more about the legal process ahead of time.

Here’s what to expect in the state of New Jersey. 

Arraignment

The arraignment is the primal step of the criminal procedure. It takes place in a courtroom.  The purpose of the arraignment is to inform you of the charges you face. This is the time to enter a plea with the judge  – usually “guilty” or “not guilty.” There are other pleas, and it gets complicated, which is why at this point you are assigned a lawyer if you can’t afford one.

The Pre-trial Conference: continuance, plea bargain, suppression hearing, trial

Before the pre-trial conference, your lawyer should have received all evidence against you from the prosecutor’s office.  Sometimes there’s a delay in receiving the documentation.  When there’s a delay, your lawyer will ask for a “continuance.”  A continuance is granted if more time is needed to gather evidence.

If all the evidence has been received and reviewed by the date of the pre-trial conference, your lawyer and the prosecutor will discuss the merits of the case. Each nitpicks flaws in each other’s facts regarding the case and they will argue about what should happen. Sometimes there’ll be a reduction in the charges. Sometimes there’ll be a dismissal. Sometimes there’ll be a compromise.  When compromise isn’t possible, the case moves forward.

A suppression hearing occurs if your lawyer believes your constitutional rights were violated. This is the stage where your lawyer can move to quash evidence against you.  Many cases will be resolved at this point.

If your lawyer and the prosecutor have not agreed to a plea bargain, and your case wasn’t dismissed at a suppression hearing, a trial date will be set.  At the trail – which takes place in Municipal Court – a judge will examine evidence and hear testimony. The judge will decided your innocence or guilt as there are no trial juries in the state of New Jersey.

Sentencing

If found guilty at the trial, you will receive a punishment, also known as a sentence.  Receiving a sentence doesn’t always mean jail time. In some cases, you might receive a fine or community service. The possible sentences are fixed within the law of the offense.

Are you facing a DUI?

If you need a DUI lawyer in New Jersey, contact Charles Block.

 

 

Will A Person Receive Penalties for Leaving the Scene of An Auto Accident?

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

As a traffic law attorney of New Jersey, one thing I’ve come to understand to be true is that car accidents can happen to anyone at any given time. If you’ve been driving for a while, chances are, you’ve either been involved in an automobile accident or have witnessed one occur first-hand. In many cases, drivers do not even realize they have been involved in an accident and drive off without realizing they have caused an accident. However, if you leave the scene of an accident, you could face serious charges in the state of New Jersey.

There are absolutely penalties for leaving the scene of an accident. If you leave the scene of an accident you could face either traffic ticket charges or in worst case scenarios, criminal charges. Penalties can depend on:

  • Whether or not there was damage to the vehicle
  • Whether or not someone was injured as a result of the accident
  • Whether or not someone was killed as a result of the accident

First Offense Penalties Include:

  • Fine from $200 to $400
  • Spend up to 30 days in jail
  • Six-month license suspension
  • 2 motor vehicle points added to license

Second Offense Penalties Include:

  • Fine from $400 to $600
  • From 30 to 90 days spent in jail
  • 1 year licenses suspension
  • 2 motor vehicle points added to license

Injury or Death:

  • From $2,500 to $5,000 fine
  • 180 days spent in county jail
  • 1 year license suspension for a first offense
  • Permanent license forfeiture for a 2nd offense
  • 8 motor vehicle points added to license

As an experienced traffic defense lawyer, I, Charles Block can craft an effective defense to ensure you avoid severe penalties if you leave the scene of the accident. But, to avoid this scenario altogether, always pull over to the side of the road if involved in an accident and wait for assistance.

What are the Weirdest Shoplifted Items?

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

As a criminal attorney of Haddonfield, I get asked this question a lot. Some of the most expensive things people target are cars, digital devices like cell phones and cash. But, no personal possession is safe! In fact, according to the National Retail Federation (NRF), one of the most commonly stolen items is Nutella. This is because it is relatively expensive and high in demand, two of the largest factors in why items are stolen.

But there are many weirder things that people shoplift. According to NRF, here are the 10 weirdest things shoplifted:

Laundry Detergent

Tide, which is an easily recognizable brand of laundry detergent is traded for drugs and other illicit items. This item is difficult to track because of the lack of serial numbers on the packaging.

Allergy Medicine

According to a 2013 crime survey conducted by the NRF, allergy medicine has become a popular item to steal. Allergy medication is typically stolen for recreational use, or re-sold on the streets.

Pregnancy Tests

Young shoplifters choose to steal pregnancy tests to avoid embarrassment of purchasing them in public. But more importantly, they are targeted by groups of thieves for their resale value. They can be sold on the black market for near-retail prices.

Catalytic Converts

These are stolen for their value at scrap yards. The price of such metals as platinum, rhodium and palladium found in a catalytic converter has risen in recent years, which can explain why they are one of the most shoplifted items.

Manhole Covers

At first, you may not consider this item to be a hot commodity, but with the increase in metal prices, manhole covers are stolen frequently. Thieves will go as far as dressing as construction workers when stealing the covers.

Nutella

Certainly the tastiest item on the list, Nutella is reported as being stolen in areas throughout the world.

Sap

It is a labor-intensive process to produce maple syrup. 40 gallons of sap is required to produce a single gallon of syrup, which is why thieves go to great lengths to steal million dollars’ worth of sap.

Shrubbery

Make sure you keep an eye on those porch plants you have in front of your house. In the past year, there have been a number of shrubbery theft cases, with thieves leaving damage to lawns. Plant value can reach extreme highs when traded on the black market.

Small Boats

IT is common for thieves to break into the backyards of homes located on the Ocean in order to steal their boats. Along with small boats, jet skis are also a commonly stolen item.

Steak

Due to the increase in demand for beef overseas, the value for steak has risen greatly. In 2013, it was reported that more than 10,000 cows and horses were stolen. It is clear that steak is no exception for shoplifters.

To learn more about shoplifting, contact the Law Office of Charles Block today.