New Jersey law categorizes theft in many categories depending on the type of offense and the amount stolen. The law defines theft as the "unlawful taking" of someone else's property. Most of the theft-related offenses under the state's criminal code are an indictable offense, which means you can face a prison term if convicted.
The following are the most common theft offenses:
New Jersey prosecutors can and do interpret the state's robbery statute broadly, which means even a shoplifting offense can become a robbery charge if any amount of force was used. Under New Jersey law, robbery is defined as inflicting injury or force; threatening someone with injury; or committing or threatening to commit any crime in the first or second degree in the course of committing theft.
Burglary is almost always an indictable charge in New Jersey, which makes it important to hire an experienced defense attorney. New Jersey law defines burglary as entering an occupied structure with the intent to commit a crime. Burglary is usually a third degree charge, although it can be a second degree crime if in the course of the offense the defendant purposefully or recklessly harms or attempts to harm anyone or is armed with or shows what seems to be a deadly weapon or explosives.
Grand theft refers to the theft of money, labor or property that is valued at more than $400. Grand theft may be a disorderly persons charge (misdemeanor) or an indictable charge (felony) depending on the situation.
Stealing a motor vehicle is a serious crime in New Jersey that falls under the grand theft law. While the state has no specific law for car theft, it does allow for enhanced penalties if someone is convicted of the theft of a motor vehicle. Conviction for stealing a car may include additional fees and the suspension of your driving privileges for up to 10 years, along with jail or prison time.
makes it a crime to be in possession of stolen property. Someone can be convicted of receiving stolen property if he or she knowingly purchased or received stolen property, or if the person had reason to believe the goods were stolen. In order to be found guilty, the prosecutor must prove not only that you were in possession of the goods but that you knew or had reason to know they were stolen. Receiving stolen property is a very serious charge under New Jersey law, with a penalty that depends on the value of the goods. You may face anywhere from 18 months to 10 years in prison if convicted.