Monmouth County Theft Defense Lawyer
Monmouth County as a whole takes theft offenses very seriously. If you have been charged with theft of moveable property, in towns like Holmdel, Tinton Falls, Manalapan, Rumson, Little Silver, Hazlet, Howell, Ocean Township, Wall Township, Asbury Park or Eatontown it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. As you will learn below, the legislature has divided the offense into two categories; theft of moveable property and theft of immovable property. In addition, theft offenses can be either a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or a second, third or fourth degree felony. What degree of theft a Defendant will be charged with will depend entirely on one factor, the value of the property taken. The difference between degrees could be the difference between a potential probationary sentence and ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison. Also, the collateral consequences that a Defendant may face after being convicted of a theft offense could be just as devastating. To speak to one of our attorneys immediately about your options please contact us at (732)858-6959.
Need to Consult with Local Holmdel Theft Defense Attorney
If you have been arrested and charged with theft of movable property, shoplifting, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, burglary or robbery in Monmouth County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys are well aware of what a felony theft conviction, let alone a lengthy jail term can do to someone’s life. As such, we are dedicated to aggressively challenging the evidence presented against our clients in order to obtain a favorable outcome. If you would like to come into our Middletown office to sit down with one of the attorneys and discuss your case, then please call us directly at (732)858-6959. We are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway that we can. Being charged with a criminal offense can be an extremely stressful time. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Now here is some key information on theft charges, including the breakdown in degrees.
How Serious is Theft Charges in New Jersey?
The stigma alone surrounding an allegation of theft can be damaging enough to one’s reputation but a conviction can be absolutely devastating to their future. Depending on the degree of the theft, the likelihood of a State Prison term can be very realistic. Furthermore, the ability to obtain meaningful employment will be significantly hampered by a theft conviction. As if that wasn’t bad enough, a conviction for a theft charge in New Jersey will undoubtably have a negative impact on one’s immigration status. As you can see, these types of cases are not something to take lightly.
What to Know About Bail on Theft Case in Monmouth County
If you have been arrested and charged with theft of moveable property in New Jersey it is possible for the prosecution to seek to have you detained in the Monmouth County Jail, without bail, pending trial. However, in order to do so a Detention Hearing must take place. These types of hearings can be and always should be contested. With that being said, depending on the degree of the offense and the facts of the case, a Defendant could be released on his/her own recognizance (ROR). If a formal detention hearing is conducted, the Judge will need to determine whether there is a serious risk that:
- The defendant will not appear in court as required;
- The defendant will pose a danger to any other person or the community; and/or
- The defendant will obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, or intimidate, or attempt to threaten, injure, or intimidate, a prospective witness or juror.
If the Judge decides to release the Defendant they then must decide what if any conditions they should be released upon. Those conditions could include things like: monthly/weekly reporting; no victim contact; no return to scene; home detention; electronic monitoring.
What are the Elements of a Theft of Moveable Property Charge in NJ?
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3a is the governing statute in New Jersey for theft of moveable property. In order to be convicted of theft of moveable property, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt three material elements and they are as follows:
- That the Defendant knowingly took or unlawfully exercised control over movable property;
- That the movable property was property of another; &
- It was the Defendant’s purpose to deprive the other person of the movable property.
What are the Elements of Theft of Immoveable Property Charge in NJ?
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3b is the governing statute in New Jersey for theft of immoveable property. In order to be convicted of theft of immoveable property, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt four material elements and they are as follows:
- That the Defendant unlawfully transferred any interest in immovable property;
- The Defendant knew that the transfer was unlawful;
- The Defendant knew the immovable property was property of another; &
- That the Defendant’s underline purpose was to benefit himself/herself or another who was not lawfully entitled to the property.
What is the Sentence for a Theft Charge in NJ?
As stated earlier, the underlying degree of the theft offense in which a Defendant will be charged with will depend directly on the dollar amount of the property in question. Here is a chart which indicates not on the breakdown in degrees but the applicable penalties if convicted.
2nd Degree Felony: Property Value was Greater than $75,000
- 5 to 10 years in a State Prison;
- Up to a $150,000 fine;
- Felony Criminal Record.
3rd Degree Felony: Property Value was Greater than $500 but Less than $75,000
- 3 to 5 years in a State Prison;
- Up to a $15,000 fine;
- Felony Criminal Record.
4th Degree Felony: Property Value was Greater than $200 but Less than $500
- Up to 18 Months in a State Prison;
- Up to a $10,000 fine;
- Felony Criminal Record.
Disorderly Persons Offense: Property Value was Less than $200
- Up to 6 Months in a State Prison;
- Up to a $1,000 fine;
- Criminal Record.
Ways to Avoid Jail Time on a Theft Charge in Nj?
With that being said, the underlying goal of most prosecutor’s when it comes to a theft offenses is restitution. The Defendant’s ability to make the victim whole can go along way when trying to resolve a theft case favorable. In addition, a Defendant may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs, those programs include the Pretrial Intervention Program, Conditional Dismissal Program and Drug Court. Depending on the program, a Defendant could be afforded the opportunity to not only bypass any potential incarceration but could also walk away from these otherwise serious charges without every serving a day in jail. For more information on these programs including the a Defendant’s eligibility please contact our office at (732)858-6959.
Looking to Speak to a Lawyer About Theft Case in Wall Township NJ
As you can tell from above the penalties one faces if convicted of theft in New Jersey can be catastrophic to one’s future. If you have been charged with a theft, receiving stolen property, theft by deception, shoplifting or burglary it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense attorney immediately. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today with one of our criminal lawyers then please contact us directly at (732)858-6959. We serve all of Monmouth County including towns like Englishtown, Aberdeen, Keyport, Atlantic Highlands, Red Bank, Belmar, Wall and Freehold. Do not let a simple misunderstanding or a lapse in judgment ruin your future.