A criminal conviction for almost any NJ theft charge can have a devastating impact on your future since employers tend to believe that this type of offense demonstrates dishonesty. A theft charge can also impact your ability to secure financing, obtain a professional license or remain in the United States if you lack citizenship. It is therefore very important to you to present your very best defense if you have been charged with burglary, theft by deception, robbery, bad checks or another theft related violation in Kearny New Jersey.
A skilled attorney at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can offer you qualifications that are unquestionably unique for defending any type of theft charge arising in the Town of Kearny or elsewhere in the area. Our credentials include:
- Over 200 years of combined experience defending clients charged with theft, forgery, fraud and similar offenses in Hudson County
- 10 lawyers who limit their practice exclusively to defense
- Former county prosecutors that have served as Director of the Economic Crimes Unit/Special Operations, Major Crimes Bureau and even an entire Trial Division
- Certified criminal trial attorneys on staff
- A long history of success handling a wide array of theft crimes
Call our Jersey City Law Firm at (201) 309-0500 to speak with a defense attorneys in a free initial consultation. A member of our staff is available around the clock to help prepare for a detention hearing, initial appearance or any other facet of your case.
Theft Offenses in Kearny New Jersey
Chapter 20 of the New Jersey Criminal Code contains the vast majority of the theft offenses that someone can violate in this state. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3, titled theft by unlawful taking or disposition, is the building block for most of the other theft charges. It is therefore helpful to gain knowledge of the elements of this violation to understand those that may apply to your particular infraction. In order to convict you under 2C:20-3, the state must prove that you: (1) took or exercised control over property belonging to another person; (2) your conduct was without their consent; and (3) your intention was to permanently deprive the owner of the property. Taking a lawnmower from your neighbor’s garage might appear to be a theft offense, but the prosecution must produce evidence proving each of the three elements of the offense. If you took the lawnmower to cut your lawn because yours would not start, the element of intent to deprive the owner of the property appears to be missing. Our Hudson County Theft Offense Lawyers develop a defense strategy with an analysis of the facts because very often the prosecution version of what occurred could conflict with other available evidence proving a different scenario. The prosecution cannot ask a jury or a judge to assume a key element of the offense but rather must prove it beyond reasonable doubt. If, for example, intent to steal is lacking then the charge for theft cannot be proven. The point is that we challenge the evidence to obtain the best outcome possible for you. Common theft offenses that share similar elements to 2C:20-3 include:
- Theft by Unlawful Taking
- Theft by Deception
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Credit Card Theft & Fraud
- Auto Theft
- Bad Checks
- Prescription Drug Theft
- Identity Theft
- Insurance Fraud
Theft of services is another theft offense that usually arises when you fail to pay someone for goods or services. For instance, leaving a restaurant without paying for your mean is a theft of services offense.
Grading of a Theft Charges
The severity of the penalties a judge may impose on someone convicted of committing a theft, fraud or forgery related offense depends on the grade of the charge. The value of the property taken usually dictates the grade of offense as outlined in N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2b. For example, taking property valued at $75,000 or more is an indictable crime of the second degree, the most severe grade of theft that someone can typically face in New Jersey. In contrast, taking property with a value of less than $200 is a disorderly persons offense – the equivalent to a misdemeanor in other states. Both indictable crimes and disorderly persons offenses give you a permanent criminal record if you are convicted. A theft involving less than $75,000 but $500 or more is a third degree crime. A fourth degree crime results where the property stolen has a value of at least $200 but less than $500. You should also know that certain theft charges you can face in Kearny or another local are not tied to the value of the property in terms of grading. Examples where value based grading does not apply are credit card theft, burglary, robbery and auto theft.
Kearny Theft Offense Penalties
The following represent penalties a judge may impose if you are convicted of different grades of theft offenses:
Crimes of the second degree: Five to 10 years in prison and a fine not exceeding $150,000
Crimes of the third degree: Up to five years in prison and a fine as high as $15,000
Crimes of the fourth degree: Eighteen months in prison and a fine up to $10,000
Disorderly persons offenses: Up to six months in jail and a fine up to $1,000
The primary focus of our Kearny criminal attorneys in defending you against a theft offense is to aggressively attack the evidence and the prosecution version of the event to achieve a dismissal before trial or an acquittal after trial. We also explore various diversion programs offered in New Jersey that allow an eligible individual to avoid a conviction and have the theft offense dismissed following successful completion of a period of probation supervision. Our attorney discusses with you all available options for successful resolution of the theft offense charge, including diversion programs and advocates on your behalf when a program is available.
Kearny Theft Offense Defense Lawyers
The attorneys at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall take pride in their proven record of success defending individuals in Kearny Municipal Court and Hudson County Superior Court against theft offense accusations. Their dedication to fighting to protect the rights of individuals charged with theft offenses has earned them the respect of the clients who rely upon them. Call us now at (201) 309-0500 or at any time of the day or night for a free initial consultation with a member of our outstanding team of Kearny theft offense attorneys.