When it comes to theft offenses, New Jersey has laws and penalties to address such crimes. Understanding these laws is crucial to ensuring you are aware of the potential consequences of theft-related actions.
Whether you’re facing charges or seeking general information, it’s essential to be knowledgeable about New Jersey’s theft laws. In Defense of New Jersey DWI and Criminal Cases, at our Law Office we will review your case and advise on the best course of action.
Theft Defined Under New Jersey Law
Under New Jersey Statutes, theft is broadly defined as the unlawful taking or exercising of control over someone else’s property with the intention of depriving the owner of its value or use. The property can be tangible or intangible, including money, services, real estate, and even electronically stored data.
Theft Offenses and Penalties in New Jersey
Theft offenses in New Jersey encompass a range of Statutes. The severity of the offense and the resulting penalties depend on various factors, such as the value of the stolen property, the nature of the theft, and any prior criminal record of a defendant. To give you a better understanding, of the different degrees of theft offenses and their corresponding penalties, speak to the best criminal lawyer in NJ.
Theft Graded as Disorderly Persons Offense
A disorderly persons offense involves the theft of property valued at less than $200. If convicted, you may face a maximum sentence of six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Crime of the Fourth Degree
Theft crimes classified as a fourth degree offense typically involve stolen property valued between $200 and $500. Committing a fourth degree theft offense can lead to a sentence of up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Crime of the Third Degree
Theft offenses classified as third degree crimes usually involve stolen property valued between $500 and $75,000. If convicted of a third degree theft offense, you may face a sentence ranging from three to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Crime of the Second Degree
The most serious theft offense is classified as a second degree crime and involves stolen property valued at $75,000 or more. If found guilty of a second degree theft offense, you could face a prison sentence ranging from five to ten years and a fine of up to $150,000.
Shoplifting or Retail Theft Penalties in New Jersey
Shoplifting or retail theft is a specific type of theft offense that involves the unlawful taking of merchandise from a retail establishment. New Jersey has established both criminal and civil penalties to address such offenses.
Shoplifting offenses are classified based on the value of the stolen merchandise and any prior convictions. The penalties for shoplifting can range from disorderly persons offenses to second degree crimes, depending on the circumstances. A disorderly persons offense may result in up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, while a second degree shoplifting offense can lead to a prison sentence of five to ten years and a fine of up to $150,000.
Civil penalties are separate from criminal charges and involve a monetary penalty that the offender must pay to the retailer. Under N.J. Stat. 2A:61C-1, 2C:20-11, the amount of the civil penalty can range from $150 to $500 for a first offense and up to $1,000 for subsequent offenses.
If you are facing theft charges in New Jersey, it is crucial to seek legal representation to understand your rights and explore possible defenses. At The Law Offices of Bartholomew Baffuto we have extensive experience in handling criminal cases, including theft offenses. Your lawyer can guide you through the legal process, provide expert advice, and work toward achieving the best possible outcome for your case.