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What are the Penalties for Theft?

Wall New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys serving Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and all surrounding NJ areas.

The penalties for theft vary greatly depending upon the amount of money that is alleged to have been stolen.  Theft offenses range from a disorderly persons offense up to a second degree criminal offense.

In a criminal theft trial, the State must prove the amount of money or property value of the stolen item or items beyond a reasonable doubt.  Under New Jersey law value is defined as the fair market value of the property at the time and place of the alleged theft.  Fair market value is the price that a buyer would be willing to pay and a seller would be willing to accept if both parties were aware of all the relevant surrounding circumstances and neither party were under any compulsion to buy or sell.

If the jury finds that the value of the goods or services in a theft prosecution were $75,000.00 or more; the individual will be guilty of a crime of the second degree.  A second degree crime carries a state prison term between 5 and 10 years.  Additionally, a second degree crime carries the presumption of imprisonment.

If the jury finds that the value of goods or services in a theft prosecution exceeds $500.00, but is less than $75,000.00; the individual will be guilty of a crime of the third degree.  A third degree crime carries a state prison term of between 3 and 5 years.  It can also carry a sentence of less than one year in the county jail, probation and community service.

If the jury finds that the goods or services in a theft prosecution is at least $200.00, but does not exceed $500.00; the individual will be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.  A fourth degree crime carries upon to 18 months in a New Jersey state prison.  It can also carry a sentence of less than one year in the county jail, probation and community service.

The penalties for a theft prosecution can vary depending upon the actual item stolen.  Additional penalties and or criminal violations may apply for the theft of a firearm or the theft of a controlled dangerous substance.

If you or someone you know would like to speak to one of our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys about a theft charge and the potential penalties, contact our law firm day or night.  Our attorneys represent individuals who have been charged with theft in all New Jersey counties and cities.  Additionally, our lawyers have successfully obtained the dismissal of theft charges in many different cases.  Our initial consultation is absolutely fee.  Contact us today.

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732-303-7857