Whether you are charged with shoplifting, grand larceny or some other form of theft offense in New Jersey, the penalties vary widely. The value of the property stolen, what other crimes are involved, and your criminal record all play a role in your potential punishment for a conviction of a theft crime. Depending on the type of crime, you could face anywhere from a fine to several years in prison.
In most states, a judge must impose a prison sentence when you are convicted of a serious theft offense. This is a presumption that cannot be rebutted, even by the fact that you do not have any prior criminal record. The length of the prison term will depend on the severity of the crime and how much is stolen. If the property was stolen from a person who was vulnerable, or if you committed the theft while using a weapon or in some other way that increased the risk of harming others, it is likely to be treated more seriously by a judge.
Depending on the type of theft or larceny that you have been charged with, your penalty could be either a misdemeanor or a felony. Generally, the amount of money or the value of the item stolen determines whether a crime is considered a misdemeanor or felony. However, some states have laws that can bump a theft charge up to a felony, even if the value of the property is less than a certain minimum threshold set by state law. Other factors that can increase your felony level charge include if you have any previous theft convictions on your record, and whether the theft is a repeat offense or was committed with other more serious crimes, such as robbery.
Theft charges can impact your life in many ways, including making it harder to pass a background check, find a job, or rent an apartment. It is important to talk to an experienced attorney as soon as possible if you are facing these types of charges.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for any kind of theft offense, the first thing you should do is hire an experienced attorney right away. Don’t speak to police or prosecutors until you have an attorney by your side.
What Are The Possible Penalties For Theft Crimes?
Theft offenses range from a disorderly persons offense, which is only punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine, to a second-degree felony, which is a prison sentence of up to 10 years. The degree of the crime also depends on the value of the property stolen and other factors, such as whether you committed a violent act during the commission of the offense or if it was accompanied by another offense, such as robbery.