There is a wide range of theft charges that a juvenile can face in Somerset County. The criminal code sets forth almost 50 theft related offenses ranging from petty shoplifting to armed robbery. The common thread of all theft violations is an attempt or actual appropriation of money or property of another person. If your child was accused of burglary or some other variety of alleged stealing, our attorneys are equipped to help you. Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall we can deliver representation by one of the largest and most experienced criminal defense teams in the state. Our lawyers have been defending theft and other juvenile offenses for over 100 years combined and several members of our staff are former prosecutors. We represent individuals charged with theft throughout the region including Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Franklin, North Plainfield, and Bernards. To speak to a lawyer at the firm, contact our Bridgewater Office at 908-722-1011 for a free consultation.
Charged With Theft in Somerset County
The severity of a theft offense primarily hinges on two factors, namely, the value of the property involved and the level of violence employed. With the exception of highly violent thefts like robbery and carjacking, most fall within the range of a second, third or fourth degree crime (i.e. felonies) or a disorderly persons offense. Theft of property with a value of $75,000 or more is a second degree crime and is rare in Somerset County Juvenile Court. It is more common to encounter third degree (i.e. property with value of $500 to $75,000) or fourth degree (i.e. $200-$499.99) theft charges at the court in Somerville. Theft of a car or other form of motor vehicle is always a third degree crime irrespective of value. The largest block of theft cases involving minors that are heard in Somerville concern juvenile shoplifting and burglary.
Burglary Offense. A juvenile may be charged with burglary under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-2 if they enter a “structure” without permission for the purpose of committing an offense. While the unlawful purpose is typically to commit a theft, burglary also applies where someone makes an unauthorized entry to vandalize property, tamper with a computer or commit any other violation of the law. It is important to keep in mind that structure is defined broadly under the burglary law to include not only a house, school or office building but also a car or truck. Your child cannot be convicted of this offense, however, if the structure was open to the public. Burglary can result in second degree, third degree or fourth degree crime, all of which are felony offenses. Second degree burglary applies where the accused causes or threatens to cause bodily injury or where he or she is armed with a deadly weapon. Burglary committed on utility property is a fourth degree crime. In all other cases burglary is a third degree crime.
All children are required to be represented by an attorney in the Juvenile Division. Your options are therefore to apply and secure a public defender because you are indigent or hire a lawyer to defend your son or daughter. There is no ability for you to handle a juvenile delinquency case or even speak on behalf of your child. Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have many decades of experience defending against burglary, robbery and other theft charges. Our team of former prosecutors is ready to put our skills into action to help you. Call us at 908-722-1011 to speak to a lawyer.