Theft is a criminal charge that includes a variety of illegal acts. The underlying act is to deprive someone of their property without their consent. This act can include the bouncing of checks, buying stolen property, or general theft. The penalties for a theft conviction can vary widely depending upon the specific act committed, and the circumstances involved, including the value of items allegedly taken.
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2(b) grades Theft crimes as:
(1) Theft constitutes a crime of the second degree if:
(a) The amount involved is $75,000 or more;
(2) Theft constitutes a crime of third degree if:
(a) The amount involved exceeds $500 but is less than $75,000.
(3) Theft constitutes a crime of fourth degree if:
(a) The amount involved is at least $200 but does not exceed $500.
(4) Theft constitutes a disorderly persons offense if:
(a) The amount involved was less than $200;
As such, in New Jersey you can be indicted for theft if the matter at controversy exceeds a value of only $200! Therefore, it is very important that you know your rights and have a qualified attorney on your side early in the investigative process. I have considerable experience handling these types of cases, and I can evaluate possible defenses or motions that may help avoid prosecution. Often times I can speak to the State to convince them to file lesser charges, or no criminal charges at all.
If you have been arrested for theft in New Jersey, it is important that you hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you. Call us today at (609) 294-8300 to schedule a FREE CONSULTATION to discuss your matter.