Theft & Shoplifting Defense in Mt. Ephraim NJ
In most states, theft is taken very seriously by prosecutors. In New Jersey, the state often prosecutes theft crimes to the fullest extent possible. Fraud charges might also accompany theft charges, particularly in cases involving theft by deception. The more charges you face, the greater the potential penalties – including prison time. Given the serious ramifications of a theft crime conviction, hiring the right lawyer to represent you might be the most important decision you ever make. The criminal defense team at Thomas DeMarco & Associates is not intimidated by strong evidence or vast government resources. In fact, we pride ourselves on taking challenging cases. If you’ve been charged with theft, we will work tirelessly in an effort to defend your rights. Contact our firm today to learn how we can help.
Theft Offenses in NJ
Theft offenses are taken very seriously in the state of New Jersey. The penalties for a theft crime conviction in New Jersey vary, depending upon the amount of money or the value of the property involved.
Disorderly Persons Offense: The lowest level of a theft charge in New Jersey is a disorderly persons offense. You can be charged with DP theft when the property taken is valued at $200 or less. These cases are heard in the local municipal court. A Disorderly Persons theft conviction can result in a sentence of up to six months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Fourth Degree Charge: You can be charged with fourth-degree theft when the stolen property is valued at between $200.01 and $500. If you are convicted of fourth-degree theft, you face a potential prison sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.
Third Degree Charge: You could face third-degree theft charges it the stolen property is valued at between $500.01 and $75,000. You can also be charged with third-degree theft if the property stolen is a firearm, car, boat, airplane, domestic companion animal, or less than one kilogram of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS). The potential penalties for a third-degree theft conviction include between three and five years in NJ state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Second Degree Charge: You can be charged with second-degree theft if the stolen property is valued at more than $75,000. You can also be charged with second-degree theft if the property is more than one kilogram of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), if the property is human remains, or if the property was taken by extortion. The penalties include a sentence of between five and 10 years in New Jersey state prison and a fine of as much as $150,000.
Shoplifting Offenses in NJ
Generally speaking, a first offense shoplifting charge with items less than $200 is a disorderly person’s offense, more commonly known as a misdemeanor in other states. Shoplifting cases are heard in the local municipal court where the offense took place. Even though shoplifting may involve theft, the potential of theft, or the attempted theft of a myriad of items with varying value, most shoplifting charges come with similar consequences. A first offense of simple shoplifting usually comes with fines, the potential of 6 months in jail, and a lifetime ban from the store. Most cases will conclude with a probationary period associated with a shoplifting conviction. The higher the value, the higher the consequences.
- Shoplifting merchandise with a total combined value of $200-$500 is a crime of the 4th degree and it comes with 18 months in jail and fines up to $10,000.
- Shoplifting merchandise valued between $500 and $75,000 is a 3rd-degree charge and comes with jail time of 3-5 years and fines not exceeding $15,000.
- Shoplifting merchandise valued over $75,000 is a crime of the second degree and comes with jail time of 5-10 years and fines not exceeding $150,000.
Contact a NJ Criminal Defense Attorney
When your freedom is on the line, an experienced attorney can make all the difference. If possible, we will seek to get the charges against you dismissed or downgraded. If your case goes to trial, our skilled trial lawyers are prepared to fight on your behalf. We have forensic experts who know how to meticulously review evidence, including a close examination of surveillance videos and careful scrutiny of police reports. Don’t try to handle your theft case on your own. Contact Thomas DeMarco & Associates, LLC today to learn more about how we can help.