In New Jersey, theft crimes can be classified as either disorderly persons offenses or indictable offenses. In New Jersey, as in other states, theft crimes generally require intent. To be charged, a person must have knowingly or purposefully taken, transferred or exercised control over the property of another person with the intent to deprive the actual owner of dominion, use or control. In most instances, the specific charge in a theft prosecution will depend on the value of the goods or services taken.
Here’s an overview of the different types of theft crimes in New Jersey.
A theft is considered a petty theft—a disorderly persons offense—if the amount taken is less than $200. The penalty can be significant, though. If convicted, you can face up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, as well as restitution.
Other Theft Crimes
As a general rule, all theft crimes where the value exceeds $200 may be charged as indictable offenses. If the value is between $200 and $500, the offense may be prosecuted as a crime of the fourth degree, with the potential for 18 months in prison and $10,000 in fines. If the value exceeds $500, but is less than $75,000, it’s generally charged as a crime in the third degree, with a potential three to five year term of incarceration and up to $15,000 in fines. Any theft of goods or services in excess of $75,000 is a crime in the second degree, with the possibility of $150,000 in fines and 5 to 10 years in prison.
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