Elizabeth NJ Theft Crime Lawyer
Theft in Union County and throughout New Jersey is taken very seriously by law enforcement, including police, prosecutors, and judges. If you have been charged with a theft offense, the possible penalties could include jail time, fines, and community service. Moreover, fraud and theft crimes are considered Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (“CIMT”) which means a conviction can significantly impact your job opportunities because employers consider these offenses a poor reflection on your moral character. A conviction for a CIMT will also result in severe consequences on your immigration status, including deportation, if you are not a U.S. Citizen. Depending on the amount of the theft and the other circumstances of the case, it’s possible that the prosecutor could ask the court to impose maximum penalties in your case. As such, it is critically important for you to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side from the very beginning and helping you to build the strongest possible defense to your theft or fraudulent conduct charges. At Proetta & Oliver, our New Jersey criminal defense firm represents clients charged with various crimes involving fraud and theft. Our experienced attorneys can help you avoid incarceration and even a criminal conviction in many cases. We are commonly able to work with the prosecutor to negotiate an alternative resolution to avoid a conviction, by downgrading the charge to a municipal ordinance, negotiating a dismissal, or securing our client’s admittance into Pre-Trial Intervention or Conditional Dismissal. If you have been arrested for theft or fraud charges in New Jersey, it is vital to speak with a knowledgeable defense lawyer who can explain the legal avenues you may have to obtain a dismissal. Contact our Cranford office today at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation. One of our Union County criminal defense attorneys will listen to the circumstances of your unique case and explain how we can help.
Theft Charges Defense Attorney in Linden NJ
Generally speaking, theft involves the unlawful taking of property belonging to someone else. Some of New Jersey’s most commonly invoked theft laws are codified in the NJ criminal code under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3 and N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. When a person is charged with a theft crime in New Jersey, the severity of the charge can range from the most serious felonies to what is basically considered petty theft. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at our firm defend clients against a wide range of theft and fraud charges in both Superior Court and Municipal Court, including the following:
- Credit Card Fraud
- Theft by Deception
- Theft of Movable Property
- Prescription Fraud
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Bad Checks
- Identity Theft
Is theft a misdemeanor or a felony in New Jersey?
Charges for theft crimes in New Jersey can be classified as either disorderly persons offenses (known as misdemeanors in other states) or indictable crimes (commonly known as felonies). The circumstances of the specific case determine the degree of the charges that a person will face. Some of the key determining factors that influence the degree of theft charges include: the specific form of theft, the type of items taken, the estimated monetary value of the stolen property, whether the person was armed during the commission of the theft, and whether another crime was committed in the course of the incident.
If you have a weapon in your possession during a theft offense or someone is assaulted or otherwise injured, your theft charges will be elevated to a more serious crime. For instance, a robbery offense is typically a second degree crime but becomes a first degree crime when the offense is armed robbery. This doubles the potential term of incarceration associated with a robbery conviction. Similarly, auto theft is considered a third degree crime regardless of the value of the vehicle but if you threaten or assault the person before stealing their car, this becomes a first degree carjacking offense.
What are the degrees and penalties for theft in NJ?
Using the aforementioned criteria, the State can charge you with a low-level criminal misdemeanor or an indictable crime, the most serious of which is a first degree felony with a minimum period of parole ineligibility. When dealing with general theft offenses (including shoplifting, theft by deception, theft by extortion, and theft of movable property). The following are the numerical theft classifications and the prison terms they entail:
- First degree theft: theft accompanied by a violent crime, punishable by up to 30 years in prison
- Second degree theft: theft involving $75,000 or more, punishable by up to 10 years incarceration
- Third degree theft: theft of between $500 and $75,000, punishable by up to 5 years imprisonment
- Fourth degree theft: theft of between $200 and $500, penalties include a maximum prison term of 18 months
- Disorderly persons theft offense: theft of less than $200, may result in up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000
If you have been accused of a fraud or theft offense in New Jersey, it is important that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney with a background in financial and property crimes. At the Proetta & Oliver, our lawyers have successfully handled thousands cases, many involving theft and fraud, throughout New Jersey Superior Courts and Municipal Courts. Our firm will work analyze the elements of the state’s case against you and make it our priority to keep you well-informed throughout the process so you can be involved in all the decision making regarding the defense options.
Union Twp Credit Card Fraud Attorney · (908) 838-0150
At Proetta & Oliver we have extensive experience regarding theft and fraud crimes and know how the court system works. Call us today at (908) 838-0150 to speak with an experienced theft lawyer for a free initial consultation about the facts and circumstances of your case. We will take our time to start at the beginning of the allegations and carefully move one step at a time to address all your concerns. We are available 24/7.