What Are the Penalties for Felony Theft Convictions in New Jersey?

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Theft is the unlawful stealing of property that does not belong to you without permission from the owner. Penalties for theft in New Jersey will depend on the type of theft, the value of the property, and a multitude of factors related to the crime. Theft can be charged as either a misdemeanor (referred to as a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey) or as a felony. A misdemeanor charge will yield less harsh consequences, but penalties will vary depending on your individual case. If you are facing theft charges contact a Bergen County, New Jersey theft lawyer for legal advice and representation.

When is Theft Considered a Felony?

It can be confusing to determine whether or not you will be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. The charges for theft in New Jersey range from a misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.

  • Misdemeanor charges are considered theft of items valuing $200 or less.
  • Fourth-degree felony charges relate to the theft of items valuing $200 to $500.
  • A third-degree felony charge will result from the theft of items totaling $500 to $75,000.
  • A second-degree felony charge is considered theft of items valuing more than $75,000.
  • A first-degree felony is not as common, but you may be charged with a first-degree theft if your theft coincided with another violent crime such as aggravated assault or carjacking.

The above statements only take into account the monetary value of the property stolen. However, depending on certain factors you may be charged with a higher degree despite the value. If the item you stole was a firearm, controlled substance, New Jersey prescription pad, or if the theft was between a trustee and beneficiary, your charges may increase.

What Penalties Can I Expect?

The penalties you accrue will vary depending on which degree of felony you are being charged with.

For a fourth-degree felony, you can expect to pay fines up to $10,000 and to serve jail time up to 18 months.

If you’re charged with a third-degree felony you will owe fines up to $10,000 and jail time ranging from 3 to 5 years.

A second-degree felony will require fines up to $15,000 and jail time ranging from 5 to 10 years.

A first-degree felony will result in fines up to $200,000 and jail time ranging from 10 to 20 years.

It is important to note that these are standard penalties associated with each degree. You may also be ordered to complete mandatory community service, be put on probation, etc. It is imperative that you work with an experienced lawyer if you are being charged with theft. They may be able to negotiate your charges to a misdemeanor or less severe punishment and they are equipped with the knowledge and skill to ensure your rights are protected.

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