Experienced Trial Lawyers for Your Theft Case
People accused of theft in New Jersey may be subject to penalties such as prison time, substantial fines, probation, and other lasting impacts. Even minor theft convictions carry the risk of adverse effects on future job searches and relationships, whether or not they have officially “paid their debts” to society.
At Clark & Noonan, LLC, our theft charge defense lawyers are former prosecutors with insider knowledge of criminal prosecutions and procedures in Jersey City and surrounding regions. We have used this perspective, gained from years of real-world court experience, to provide vigorous criminal defense for those we represent.
Common Types of Crimes Our Theft Defense Attorneys Handle
The criminal defense attorneys of Clark & Noonan, LLC handle most types of theft-related cases in New Jersey, including:
- Armed robbery under N.J.S.2C:15-1
- Burglary charges under N.J.S.2C:18-2
- Carjacking under N.J.S.A. 2C:15-2
- Credit card theft under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-6c(1) and skimming
- Criminal mischief under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3a(1)
- Extortion charges under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-5
- Forgery under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-1a
- Fraud and white-collar crimes under New Jersey Law
- Identity theft under N.J.S.A. 2C:21-17
- Joy riding
- Receiving stolen property
- Shoplifting under N.J.S.A. 2C: 20-11(b)(1)
- Theft by deception under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4
- Theft of services under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-8a
- Possession of Fake ID
Any of these crimes may carry serious consequences. Our attorneys are prepared to tailor a personalized and aggressive defense strategy to your unique circumstances. Together, we can build the strong defense you deserve and fight any charges filed against you.
What Are the Degrees of Theft Crimes in New Jersey?
The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice separates theft crimes into different degrees of severity based on the value of any money or assets that were allegedly stolen.
The various degrees of theft crimes, which range from misdemeanor-type offenses up to the equivalent of serious felonies, include:
- Disorderly person offenses, which are New Jersey’s equivalent to misdemeanors in other states. Individuals might face disorderly person charges if the amount involved was less than $200, commonly known as “petty theft.”
- Fourth-degree theft crimes, which are the least serious felony-equivalent criminal charges in New Jersey. You might be charged with a crime of the fourth degree if the amount involved was more than $200 but less than $500.
- Third-degree theft crimes, which involve any amount between $500 and $74,999. People may face theft charges of the third degree if any of the following allegations apply:
- Stolen property includes a firearm, automobile, boat, airplane, horse, or another domestic animal.
- Stolen property includes 1 kilogram or less of a controlled substance.
- Stolen property includes a New Jersey Prescription Blank, an access device, or a defaced access device.
- Stolen property was taken directly from a victim.
- Stolen property includes public records, writing, or instruments.
- Stolen property includes research-related materials or information.
- Stolen property includes up to $74,999 of someone’s state or federal health care benefits.
- The theft occurred during someone’s duties as a fiduciary.
- The theft was not extortion, but the property was still taken by threat.
- Second-degree theft crimes, which typically involve amounts of $75,000 or more, though people may also face second-degree theft charges if:
- Stolen property was taken through extortion.
- Stolen property includes more than 1 kilogram of a controlled substance.
- Stolen property includes $75,000 or more of someone’s state or federal health care benefits.
- Stolen property includes human remains.
- First-degree theft crimes, which are the most serious of all felony-equivalent criminal charges in New Jersey. First-degree theft charges are typically only filed in theft cases committed alongside violent crimes such as aggravated assault, robbery, or carjacking.
Reviews • David
Excellent service in coordinating my property damage restitution matter. Mr. Clark was always available when I needed him, returned all my calls in an expeditious manner, and pursued my case with a vigor that brought about an optimal conclusion. I would use his services again, and would recommend him to anyone. Thanks Ryan.
Reviews • A. Azevedo
I recommend them to everyone, they are the best! And will actually fight for you and know people to talk to. I would recommend them for anything and everything.
[Ryan Clark] is a very knowledgeable and respectable lawyer hands down. I was recommended to him by one of my coworkers who knows him very well and honestly it was the best choice I ever made. I thank him and my coworker for his excellent recommendation.
What Are the Penalties for Theft Charges in New Jersey?
If you have been charged with a theft crime in New Jersey, it’s a good idea to be aware of the penalties you may face if you are convicted:
- Disorderly persons offense convictions for petty theft of property under $200 in value like bicycles, office supplies, and shoplifted items. Penalties for these convictions may include up to six months in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000 or a fine equal to double the value of any reportedly stolen property, whichever is greater.
- Fourth-degree theft convictions, which may carry penalties of up to 18 months in prison, as well as a possible fine that is twice the value of any allegedly stolen property or $10,000, whichever is greater.
- Third-degree theft convictions, for which you could face between three to five years in prison. Individuals convicted of third-degree theft crimes may also incur fines equal to double the value of any alleged stolen property or $15,000; whichever amount is higher.
- Second-degree theft convictions carry several serious consequences, including five to 10 years in prison and fines that are double the amount of any property in question or $150,000, whichever is higher. In addition to prison time and substantial fines, you could be required to make restitution payments to individuals or companies that had their property stolen.
First-degree theft convictions involve the most serious of all penalties, including up to 30 years of prison time and up to $200,000 in fines. One example of this would be a carjacking conviction, which typically involves minimum prison sentences of five years with no parole and maximum sentences of 30 years.
What Should You Do After Being Charged with a Theft Crime?
The criminal defense team at Clark & Noonan, LLC has arranged a list of useful tips for you to consider if you are facing criminal theft charges in New Jersey:
- Remain respectful, calm, and polite when you interact with legal authorities.
- Do not volunteer unnecessary information during any official questioning or casual conversations with law enforcement officers.
- Hire a dedicated New Jersey theft charge defense lawyer for your case as soon as possible.
- Be completely honest with your lawyer about all aspects of your case.
- Do not communicate with authorities at all without your attorney in the room.
- Politely insist that you wish to remain silent until you have a lawyer present and keep insisting until you are taken seriously.
- Do not post any information related to your case, defense, or charges on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat.
- Do not discuss sensitive aspects of your case over the phone if you are in police custody, as your calls may be monitored or recorded and used as evidence.
- Do not discuss your case with other inmates if you are in jail, since you never know what they might share to help advance their own criminal defense.
- Avoid discussing the details of your case with family or friends, as they may be called to testify as witnesses in your case and asked to reveal what you discuss.
How Can a New Jersey Theft Defense Lawyer Help You?
If you were charged with a theft crime in New Jersey, you need honest answers from experienced and knowledgeable attorneys. At Clark & Noonan, LLC, our skilled lawyers are former prosecutors with a deep understanding of New Jersey criminal law who now dedicate their efforts entirely to criminal defense.
We have helped hundreds of local defendants accused of theft crimes by:
- Providing counsel prior to an arrest, if warrants have been made public
- Helping defendants understand their rights and legal options
- Negotiating reasonable bail amounts during initial court appearances
- Demanding that clients be released on their own recognizance, if possible
- Arguing to have charges reduced or dismissed entirely before or after trial
- Requesting pre-trial interventions such as court-supervised programs
- Defending clients against prosecutors in court, if cases go to trial
- Filing discovery requests to examine any evidence the prosecution plans to use
- Challenging the details of clients’ charges and presenting supporting evidence
- Negotiating for a fair plea agreement or minimum sentencing consequences
- Representing clients in post-conviction matters, such as appeals or expungement proceedings
No matter how minor or serious your charges are, most theft cases rely on circumstantial evidence like an opportunity, motive, fingerprints, or phone records. These types of evidence can leave room for damaging and accusatory interpretations, which is why it’s so important to work with a seasoned and aggressive criminal defense lawyer.