“Theft” is perhaps the most broad classification of offenses under the New Jersey Criminal Code, encompassing crimes such as theft of movable and immovable property, theft by deception, theft of services, theft by extortion, credit card theft, identity theft, and auto theft, each of which incorporates specific elements that differentiate it from the rest. The recurring theme among these crimes is the act of unlawfully taking or exercising control over property belonging to someone else, with purpose to deprive the other person of that property. The specific behavior used to achieve this goal and the type of property may vary, but the nature of the offense is essentially the same. Conversely, the degree of these charges, and the severity of the penalties imposed for those convicted, can vary greatly. Appropriate sentencing is generally determined by the estimated value of the alleged stolen property and in some cases, the specific form of property, such as a vehicle or prescription blank. When charged with a theft crime, it is extremely important to understand the penalties to which you may be exposed, as well as the elements that the State must satisfy in order to prove this charge beyond a reasonable doubt.
At The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our attorneys approach each case with over 100 years of combined experience on both sides of the New Jersey Justice System. With a team including former County and Municipal Prosecutors, several of whom have been named among the Top 100 Criminal Attorneys, Top 40 Criminal Attorneys under 40, and Best Attorneys in America by organizations such as National Trial Lawyers, we have earned these distinctions among our peers through tireless dedication to the practice of criminal defense and an unwavering commitment to achieving the best possible results for our clients. With a convenient office location in Bridgewater, we regularly appear in courts in and around Somerset and Hunterdon counties and throughout New Jersey, defending the rights of the accused. To discuss your case with one of our talented legal professionals free of charge, simply contact our offices anytime at 908-722-1011.
Theft Charges in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3
The overarching theft statute can be found in section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which is entitled “Theft by Unlawful Taking or Disposition.” The statute dictates the following with regard to:
a. Movable property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof.
b. Immovable property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully transfers any interest in immovable property of another with prupose to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto.
Penalties for Theft in New Jersey
Second Degree Theft Charges: Values exceeding $75,000
- New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 5 to 10 years
- Maximum fine of $150,000
Third Degree Theft Charges: Values ranging from $500 and less than $75,000
- New Jersey State Prison term ranging from 3 to 5 years
- Maximum fine of $15,000
Fourth Degree Theft Charges: Values ranging from $200 and less than $500
- Maximum New Jersey State Prison term of 18 months
- Maximum fine of $10,000
Disorderly Persons Theft Charges: Values below $200
- Maximum sentence of 6 months in the county jail
Contact our Raritan Twp. NJ Theft Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation
If you or someone you love has been charged with a theft crime in Hunterdon or Somerset counties or elsewhere in New Jersey, contact the law offices of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7 to assist you.