What Are The Penalties For Theft Crimes In New Jersey?

New Jersey has several laws that govern what is considered theft. These laws can be complex and depend on the value of the property that was allegedly stolen and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Theft crimes can range in severity, depending on the value of the property stolen and the circumstances of the crime.

You commit theft if you take someone else’s property without their consent and deprive them of ownership. The property can include real estate, tangible items, as well as intangible personal assets. If you are charged with any type of theft crime, it is important to understand the penalties for theft crimes and the potential consequences.

Disorderly Persons Offense (DPO)

In New Jersey, if the value of stolen items or services is lower than $200, it is considered a DPO. A DPO is a type of criminal offense that is punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.

Fourth Degree Crime

Theft is considered a fourth degree crime in New Jersey if the value of the stolen goods or services is at least $200 but less than $500. Criminals of fourth degree crimes are punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Third Degree Crime

Theft is considered a third degree crime if the value of the stolen goods or services is greater than $500 but lower than $75,000, or if the stolen items are:

    • An access device like a bank account number or credit card
    • An airplane, vessel, horse, firearm, motor vehicle, boat, or domestic companion animal
    • A public instrument, document, recording, or a prescription blank
    • A prohibited harmful substance that weighs less than one kilogram or has a value less than $75,000
    • Anhydrous ammonia used for the intention of producing methamphetamine

A third degree crime is also committed when the theft comprises taking:

    • Health care benefits through acts of deceit or fraud where the value is less than $75,000
    • Property obtained in violation of fiduciary obligations where the value involved is lower than $50,000

If you are convicted of a third degree crime, you may be sentenced to prison for three to five years and a fine of up to $15,000.

Second Degree Crime

Theft is considered a second degree crime when the value of the stolen services or items is:

    • Worth $75,000 or more
    • Prohibited substances that exceed one kilogram
    • Human remains
    • Obtained through extortion
    • Health care benefits obtained through deceit or fraud where the value exceeds $75,000

If you are convicted of second degree crime, you can be sentenced to a jail term of five to 10 years and fined up to $150,000.

Restitution Orders

On top of fines and imprisonment, the court may order the offender to pay restitution to the victim, which means the offender must pay the victim for any monetary damages incurred as a result of the theft.

If you are facing charges of theft, it is important to consult with an experienced attorney who can help you understand your rights and options. Our knowledgeable attorneys at Carcich O’Shea can recommend the actions you can take. If you have questions about our legal expertise in theft crimes, contact us today.

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