Theft and robbery are terms often used interchangeably. In reality, each has a different meaning and a different level of severity. Read on to learn more about theft laws in New Jersey and how a theft charge may be upgraded to a robbery charge. If you are facing a theft or robbery charge, contact a skilled New Jersey criminal law attorney right away.
Theft Consequences in New Jersey
A theft charge is heavily based on the amount stolen, so the higher the amount, the higher the charge. The penalties for theft crimes in New Jersey include:
- Disorderly persons offenses: This charge may be issued when the amount stolen is valued at less than $200.
- Fourth-degree theft: This chare may be issued when the amount stolen is valued between $200-500. If convicted of fourth-degree theft, you can spend up to 18 months in jail.
- Third-degree theft: This charge may be issued when the amount stolen is valued between $500 and $75,000. This may also apply to the theft of a firearm, vehicle, controlled substance less than a kilogram, or a blank prescription pad, among other things. If convicted of third-degree theft, you may face up to 5 years of imprisonment.
- Second-degree theft charges are reserved for property valued greater than $75,000, extortion, theft of a controlled substance greater than a kilogram, or human remains. Clearly a serious charge, second-degree convictions can result in up to 10 years in jail.
Upgraded Theft Charges
While theft seems like a very serious charge, and it is, a robbery charge is even more severe. If a weapon was involved in a theft, the charge may be upgraded from theft to armed robbery. If the weapon used was stolen, the charges become even more serious.
Robbery Consequences in New Jersey
In New Jersey, offenders can be charged with first or second-degree robbery. Second-degree robbery is seen as a violent crime and can result in 5-10 years in prison. First-degree robbery occurs when the individual committing the theft attempts to kill or seriously harm another person, commits or threatens to commit any crime in the first or second-degree, or is armed with a weapon, uses a weapon, or threatens to use a weapon. First-degree robbery can result in 10-20 years in prison.
Theft and robbery are serious crimes that can incur major consequences. If you or a loved one is faced with a theft or robbery charge, it is important to contact a skilled attorney.
Contact our experienced New Jersey firm
When someone is charged with a crime, they have a lot to consider. However, we understand that everyone makes mistakes, which is why we are here to help. No matter your circumstances, if you are facing criminal charges, contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Policastro today for the experienced legal counsel you deserve and need.