What is a Theft Charge in NJ:
Note : Theft may be both a State and Federal Crime (Ex. using some else's credit or credit car or any theft occurring across state lines) and you can be prosecuted by both the state and federal authorities. Below is a discussion of NJ Theft Charges and the Degrees NJ Theft charges/offenses are categorized in four different degrees depending on the amount alleged to have been unlawfully taken as indicated below. The charge of Theft (2C:20-1) can be anything from theft of property, shoplifting (2C:20-11), receiving stolen property (2C:20-7) theft by deception (2C:20-4), theft of services (2C:20-8), fraud, writing bad checks, credit card theft, or any means in which a person tricks, fools, extorts (2C:20-5) a person to part with property under a false pretense or assumption. Please note that shoplifting has additional community service penalties. The most common theft offenses are offense where less than $200.00 has been stolen.
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The 4 Grades of Theft Sentences in NJ
New Jersey Theft Charge, Second Degree (2nd Degree) Crime
Sentence: Up to 10 years in prison. Ordinary Terms: Jail 7 to 10 years, Fines and Probation
A theft charge is a second degree crime if the value of the items are worth $75,000 or more or if:
- The property is taken by extortion;
- The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog and the quantity is in excess of one kilogram;
- The property stolen is a person's benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source, which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the person's health care and the amount involved is $75,000 or more; or
- The property stolen is human remains or any part thereof.
New Jersey Theft Charge, Third Degree (3rd Degree) Crime
Sentence: Up to 5 years in Jail. Ordinary Terms: 3 to 5 years in Jail, Fines and Probation
A theft charge is a third degree crime if the value of the items are worth more than $500, but not more than $75,000 or if:
- The property stolen is a firearm (gun, rifle, pistol), or a motor vehicle, vessel, boat, horse, domestic companion animal or airplane;
- The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog and the amount involved is less than $75,000.00 or is undetermined and the quantity is one kilogram or less;
- It is in breach of an obligation by a person in his capacity as a fiduciary;
- It is by threat not amounting to extortion;
- It is of a public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant;
- The property stolen is a person's benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source, which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the person's health care and the amount involved is less than $75,000;
- The property stolen is any real or personal property related to, necessary for, or derived from research, regardless of value, including, but not limited to, any sample, specimens and components thereof, research subject, including any warm-blooded or cold-blooded animals being used for research or intended for use in research, supplies, records, data or test results, prototypes or equipment, as well as any proprietary information or other type of information related to research;
- The property stolen is a New Jersey Prescription Blank as referred to in; or
- The property stolen consists of an access device or a defaced access device.
- Improper Use of Credit Card also may be charged as a 4th Degree Offense see below.
The 4 Grades of Theft Sentences in NJ
New Jersey Theft Charge, 4th Degree Crime
Sentence: Up to 18 Months in Jail, Fines and Probation
Theft is a crime of the fourth degree if the value of the items are worth more than $200, but not more than $500 or if the theft is by means of a credit card in which case the crime could be a third degree crime depending on how charged by the police and prosecutor.
Examples of credit card theft include: having two or more credit cards in your possession that have names other than your own even if the cards are never used. Using a card that has someone else’s name on it , creating a false credit card, to use a credit card even though the account has been closed, or to sign a credit card when the signer is not the named person on the credit card. Credit card theft is a specific form of a theft crime that is unrelated to the "value" of the theft.
NJ Theft Charge (Municipal Court) Disorderly Persons Offense: Heard in Municipal Court
Sentence: Up to 6 Months in Jail, Fine of up to $1000.00, Probation term to be determined by court.
A theft charge is classified as a disorderly persons charge under New Jersey law if the amount involved is under $200. However please note that this will be marked on the NCIC database as a criminal offense and as such employers are free to consider a person charged with a disorderly person offense a criminal. This is the most frequently issued theft charge as most theft crimes are for less than $200.00. Historically shoplifting was originally charged as theft until the legislature increased the penalties for shoplifting making shoplifting an offense with even more penalties than theft. (lawyers note: better to steal from a person than a store) In addition to a criminal record even a theft of $1.00 can still subject you to up to 180 days in jail, thus skilled legal representation is important to make sure you stay out of jail. Put Attorney H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq., 98% Success Rate to Work for you in winning, reducing or eliminating the penalties of a theft offense.
Theft Charges in NJ Municipal Court Are:
The Most Commonly Charged Theft Offenses
Lawyers Note: Many NJ Theft charges are originally sent to Municipal Court and if the amount is over $200.00 then transferred to Superior Court as a Degree Theft Crime.
The Most common theft charges in NJ
The Importance of Starting your Lawyer Representation Early in NJ Theft Offenses The penalties if charged with a theft offense in NJ are severe and all charges subject you to jail. Put Attorney H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq., 98%* Success rate to work for you and get the best defense for your theft offense. Because theft is a criminal offense, you need to speak privately with a lawyer in the lawyers office as all phone conversations today are monitored by the government. To protect you we only offer a free in office consultation. The consultation is free but the results if you win or reduce your theft charge could be priceless and will last a lifetime!
Theft By Unlawful Taking
Theft of Title and Theft of Lesser Interests
Theft by Deception
Theft by Extortion
Theft of Property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake
Receiving Stolen Property
Theft of Services
Theft by failure to make required disposition of property received
Unlawful taking of means of conveyance
Concealment of Material from a Library
Operation of facility for sale of stolen automobile parts
Use of Juvenile in theft of automobiles
Leader of auto theft trafficking ring
Computer Theft and Elements of the Crime
2C:21-17 and 2C:21-17.3(b)
Trafficking in person identifying Information
How to Win a Theft Charge in NJ
Now that you have read our website its time to learn how to win. The best and easiest way to win your New Jersey Criminal Charge is to get the best lawyer. Attorney H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq., has been chosen by the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys as one its Top Ten Lawyer, Selected by The National Trial Lawyers to be one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers and is rated as a Top Criminal Lawyer with a perfect 10.0 score by AVVO lawyer rating website. Get the Best Theft Defense - Get Not Guilty 1-800-9-RIGHTS