What Happens When You Are Accused of Theft in New Jersey?
We all like to be bad once in a while, some of us more than others. Whereas your version of being bad may be cheating on your diet, someone else’s thrill is taking something that doesn’t belong to them. But that thrill fades away quickly when you get caught in the act. Let’s say you were caught stealing something and were arrested for theft charges. You may be scared and not sure what happens next. That’s what we’re here for!
According to New Jersey law, the definition of theft is the “unlawful taking” or “exercising control” over someone else’s property. Your intent is to take that property away from the rightful owner. There are different categories of theft, such as:
- Theft by deception
- Theft by extortion
- Theft of lost property or property that was delivered to you by mistake
- Receiving stolen property
- Theft of services
And just like there are different categories of theft, there are different punishments for the crime, depending on the amount the property is worth and the actions it took to receive the property. For instance, if you steal a pair of shoes worth $100 from the local shoe store, since the value of the property is under $200, this crime is considered a disorderly persons offense and your punishment is jail for no more than six months and a fine around $1,000. However, if you stole prescription drugs from a neighbor, your crime is considered either a third or second degree offense, with a hefty punishment. For a complete list of punishments, click here.
In addition to be penalized for the crime, you may also be responsible for any damages that you made in the course of the act. For instance, when stealing those pair of shoes, you had broken the door to the store, you are liable for paying not only for the shoes, but for the damages to the door as well as a penalty that goes to the merchant. So as you can see, one act of rebellion can cost you a lot in the end.