What is theft defined as?

Since theft includes fraud, shoplifting, home invasion, robbery and extortion, it is made up of multiple offenses. With this in mind, it is important to understand how serious this charge can be and how much it can affect your life.

For theft charges, the consequences largely are based on the value of the property. When property is valued at less than $200, individuals may be charged with a disorderly persons offense. If the stolen property is valued between $200 and $500, individuals may be charged with a fourth-degree theft charge that may lead to up to 18 months of incarceration. As the property value increases, the charges can become more serious. Property valued between $500 and $75,000 can lead to third-degree charges. These charges can cause penalties of five years in prison. Property valued at greater than $75,000 can lead to second-degree charges, which may cause imprisonment for 10 years.

What do fraud charges include?

Fraud is considered to be theft of property or identity through criminal deception. For these charges, it can include a variety of offenses. These offenses can range from disorderly persons offenses to second-degree crime that may lead to incarceration. The charge may depend on the amount that the stolen property is valued at. Offenses can include check forgery, passing bad checks, charity scams, straw-man purchases, contractor disputes, credit card fraud, identity theft, Social Security Disability fraud and insurance fraud. With differing federal and state laws, an individual should acquire the help of an attorney to explain any penalties that may be enforced.

Is aggravated robbery more serious than robbery charges?

While robbery includes theft of property, it is usually done by using force or the threat of force. Armed robbery involves the use of a weapon when stealing property. Aggravated robbery includes theft with a deadly weapon. Robbery is a second-degree crime, but can be a first-degree crime when it involves certain circumstances. These circumstances include an attempt to kill anyone, inflicting harm or attempts to inflict harm and the accompaniment of a deadly weapon. With a robbery charge, a person may face the possibility of a No Early Release Act.

If you have been charged with a crime in New Jersey, it is essential to retain the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact the Law Office of Michael A. Policastro today to schedule a consultation so we can discuss your situation.