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New Jersey Criminal Attorney Reviews New Jersey Theft Laws

October 13, 2015

New Jersey Criminal Attorney Reviews New Jersey Theft Laws

Under New Jersey criminal statute § 2C:20-3, theft is defined as the “unlawful taking” or “exercising of control” over another person’s property.  The type of offense and resulting penalty is often linked to the value of the stolen property. Theft crimes typically result in monetary fines and imprisonment.  Moreover, many times the court will order an offender to pay restitution to the victim(s) of the theft.

Types of Theft Crimes and Penalties in NJ

Following is a list of the different types of theft in New Jersey, along with the penalties that might accompany a conviction with each type of offense.

Disorderly Persons Theft Offense in New Jersey

Under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:20-2(b)(4), § 2C:20-3, theft can be categorized as a disorderly persons offense when the value of the stolen property is less than $200. This is commonly referred to as petty theft.

A person convicted of a disorderly persons theft offense can be fined up to $1,000 or double the monetary loss of the victim, whichever amount is greater. The prison term for a DP theft offense cannot exceed six months under New Jersey statute § 2C:43-3, § 2C:43-8.

Fourth Degree Theft Crime in New Jersey

When the value of the stolen goods totals at least $200 but does not exceed $500, it is classified as a fourth degree theft crime under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:20-2(b)(3), § 2C:20-3.

An offender of a fourth degree theft crime can be penalized with a fine not to surpass $10,000 or double the stolen property value, whichever is higher.  The offender can face a prison term up to 18 months § 2C:43-3, § 2C:43-6.

Third Degree Theft Crime in NJ

The factors that determine if a theft qualifies as a third degree crime New Jersey include:

  • The worth of the stolen property or services is valued between $500 and less than $75,000.
  • The stolen property is a firearm, motor vehicle, vessel, boat, airplane, horse, or domestic companion animal. (*There are additional penalties associated with stealing a car including suspension of the offender’s driver license and increasing fines for repeat offenses.)
  • The property is a controlled dangerous substance weighing less than one kilogram and worth less than $75,000.
  • The property is taken from the victim, by a person acting as a fiduciary, or by threat.
  • The stolen property is a public instrument, writing, or record or a New Jersey blank prescription.
  • The property is an access device.

Second Degree Theft Crime in NJ

Under N.J. Stat. Ann. § 2C:20-2(b)(1), § 2C:20-3, theft becomes a second degree crime if one of the following is true:

  • the value of the stolen property is worth a minimum of $75,000
  • the property is taken by force
  • the stolen property is a controlled substance weighing more than one kilogram
  • the property is human remains

Penalties for second degree theft crimes include fines doubling the amount of the property value lost to the victim, or a fine up to $150,000, whichever amount is greater.  An offender can also face prison time from five to ten years for a second degree theft crime (§ 2C:43-3, § 2C:43-6.)

Criminal Attorney Michele Finizio Successfully Defends Persons Charged with Theft Offenses in South Jersey

New Jersey criminal defense attorney Michele Finizio is ready to handle every detail of your theft case and fight for your best interests. Ms. Finizio understands the specific types of theft offenses and will work with you to ensure you are properly defended. If you have been charged with a New Jersey theft crime, call the criminal lawyers in New Jersey at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio located in Moorestown, NJ today at 856-888-9059 or contact us online

Reviews Matter

“First class representation. Michele was my son’s attorney after he made a slight but bad decision that hurt no one, but one that potentially could have a caused a lifetime of employment problems in the future, despite having a four year college degree. First of all Michele was very proactive in protecting his rights. Rights we were not even aware of. She provided quick and reliable answers to our questions. Before we met with her our anxiety and worry was insatiable. The peace we felt after our first consultation alleviated all that and we knew we picked the right attorney. Her excellent negotiation skills resulted in a settling his case quickly and without conviction.

We owe a debt of gratitude for her service. I was shocked at how much she was able to do for my son. She is a solid lawyer who is honest and works to insure the best possible outcome for her client is achieved.”
- Former Client

“Michele was very prompt when getting back to me when I called regarding legal counsel. Michele kept me informed and in the loop while awaiting trial. Very professional qualities and I highly recommend Michele and will continue to seek her legal expertise in the future. Thanks.”
- Former Client

“I could not had ask for a better attorney. Michele Finizio treated my case and the case of those I’ve recommended as if we were part of her family. She gave it all she had, made her voice and case be heard in court and made it count, and we had the best possible outcome, thanks to her experience and expertise. Thank you very much for an outstanding job.”
- D.A.

"Michele is an outstanding, no “beating around the bush” lawyer. She has done a remarkable job as a lawyer for me. Before Michele, I did not get along with Criminal Lawyers – she comes HIGHLY recommended by me to anyone who needs a Criminal Lawyer."
- C.O.
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