In New Jersey, stealing property is taken very seriously. If you are charged with theft, you will face serious consequences. In some cases, theft charges will be upgraded to robbery. Robbery can carry even harsher penalties than theft. If you or a loved one has been charged with theft or robbery in New Jersey, you will need the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Read on to learn more about what theft and robbery charges entail, and how theft may be upgraded to robbery.
Consequences of Theft in New Jersey
The penalties for theft are dependent upon the value of the property stolen.
Disorderly Persons Offense: You may be charged with a disorderly persons offense if the property stolen is valued at less than $200.
Fourth Degree Charge: You can be charged with fourth-degree theft when the stolen property is valued at between $200 and $500. You may face a potential prison sentence of 18 months and a fine of up to $10,000.
Third Degree Charge: You may be charged with third-degree theft if the stolen property is valued at between $500 and $75,000, or if the property stolen is a firearm, car, boat, airplane, domestic companion animal, or less than one kilogram of a controlled dangerous substance. The potential penalties for a third-degree theft conviction may include 3-5 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. Second-degree charges also apply if the stolen property is more than one kilogram of a controlled dangerous substance, if the property is human remains, or if the property was taken by extortion. The penalties include a sentence of 5-10 years in New Jersey state prison and a fine of as much as $150,000.
How is Theft Upgraded to Robbery
In some cases, theft will be updated to robbery. If this occurs, the charges become even more severe, as robbery is considered to be a violent crime. For example, if you commit theft with the use of a weapon, your charge will change to armed robbery, which carries a heavier sentence. In New Jersey, you can be charged with first or second-degree robbery. Second-degree robbery occurs when you threaten to use a weapon while stealing property. First-degree robbery occurs when you use, threaten to use, or carry, a weapon of deadly force. This can result in 10-20 years in prison.
If you or a loved one is charged with theft or robbery, you will need to retain the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
Thomas DeMarco & Associates, LLC is an experienced Camden County criminal defense law firm located in Mt. Ephraim, New Jersey. We understand how potentially damaging a criminal can be, which is why we pride ourselves on our willingness to fight for our client’s rights. Our firm handles all criminal matters and is ready to provide you with our knowledgeable legal counsel. Do not hesitate to contact our firm to discuss your legal situation.