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New Jersey law outlines several forms of theft, which is defined as the unlawful taking or exercising of control over moveable property belonging to someone else with the intent to deprive that person of their property. Simply moving the person’s property from its original location or even exercising control over the property without moving it is sufficient to constitute theft. The Camden County criminal defense team at the Law Office of Thomas J. Gosse has extensive experience successfully defending those charged with all forms of theft in New Jersey.

Common Forms of Theft in New Jersey

Auto theft: Theft of a motor vehicle carries hefty penalties. The first offense will result in a $500 fine and a one-year driver’s license suspension. The second offense carries a $750 fine and a two-year license suspension. Third or subsequent offenses will result in a $1,000 fine and a ten-year license suspension. If the unrecovered motor vehicle is valued at over $7,500 according to fair market value, additional fines may be imposed by the court.

Theft by deception: A person is guilty of theft by deception when they purposefully create or reinforce a false impression regarding the property (such as lying about collecting money for a charity or selling a fake diamond) by either providing the person with false information, failing to correct the person’s false impression or preventing the person from acquiring information that would affect their judgment regarding the transaction.

Theft by extortion: This crime is categorized by threats including threatening to inflict bodily harm or physical confinement on the victim, threatening to bring charges against the victim or threatening to expose a secret that would subject the victim to certain negative consequences.

Receiving stolen property: A person is guilty of this crime when they knowingly receive stolen property. They may also be guilty of failing to make the proper disposition if they receive property lawfully but fail to fulfill an obligation regarding that property, such as if a cashier takes money from a customer for an item in the store and keeps it for personal use rather than putting it in the cash register.

Theft of services: When services are obtained by threat or deception and without payment, there is a theft of services. This may include circumstances in which services are diverted away from the rightful recipient such as electric, gas or cable television services.

Shoplifting: Shoplifting includes removing goods from the premises with the intent to deprive the owner thereof and also includes altering the price of goods, moving the goods to another container or any other action designed to deprive the merchant of the full retail value of the goods.

Disorderly persons offense/Petty theft: Depending on the jurisdiction, this form of theft may be referred to as a disorderly persons’ offense or petty theft. This type of theft refers to the theft of property that is valued at less than $200.

Penalties for Theft in New Jersey

The degree of theft with which a defendant will be charged depends upon the stolen property’s value and the circumstances of the theft. Penalties upon conviction vary according to whether the theft is classified as second degree, third degree or fourth degree. 

Conviction for a second-degree theft carries a sentence of five to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $150,000 or double the amount of monetary loss to the victim, whichever is higher. A third-degree theft conviction may result in three to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $15,000 or double the amount of monetary loss to the victim, whichever is higher. Fourth degree theft convictions may result in imprisonment of up to 18 months and a fine of up to $150,000 or double the amount of monetary loss to the victim, whichever is higher.

A Camden County Criminal Lawyer at the Law Office of Thomas J. Gosse Will Provide Aggressive Defense for Those Charged with All Types of Theft in New Jersey

If you have been charged with any type of New Jersey theft crime, contact a Camden County criminal lawyer at the Law Office of Thomas J. Gosse. We will work with you to develop an aggressive defense strategy. Our skilled and experienced legal team will fight to obtain the best possible outcome in your case. From our office in Haddon Heights, we represent those facing theft charges throughout South Jersey. Contact us online or call us at 856-546-6600 or toll-free at 800-989-1575 to schedule a consultation.