Have you been charged with a theft crime in South Jersey? If you or someone you love has been arrested for burglary, robbery, or theft in New Jersey, you need to take legal action fast.
At the Law Offices of John J. Zarych, our criminal defense lawyers are dedicated to aggressive client advocacy, no matter how complex or serious the charges may be. Our New Jersey theft attorneys will fight hard to defend your liberties and will leave no stone unturned when examining the evidence against you. Our knowledgeable legal team has over 45 years of combined experience representing both adults and juveniles, and we are proud to offer free initial consultations.
For a free and private consultation, call our law offices right away at (800) 508-9786. You will not be charged any fees, and we will keep your information confidential. Se habla español.
Types of Theft: Burglary, Robbery, and Embezzlement
A theft conviction on your record can have a devastating effect on your ability to earn a living. Despite numerous laws designed to protect individuals with former convictions against employment discrimination, the fact is that many employers do not hire employees who have a history of theft.
Our attorneys fight hard to resolve these cases without a conviction. Since theft is a non-violent crime, hard work by a criminal defense attorney can often result in a disposition that does not involve a criminal record.
New Jersey imposes the following penalties for theft based on the value of the stolen goods or services:
- Theft under $200
- Disorderly person’s offense (DP offense)
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Theft of $200 to $500
- Crime of the fourth degree
- Up to 18 months in state prison
- Theft of $500 to $75,000
- Crime of the third degree
- Up to 5 years in state prison
- Theft of more than $75,000
- Crime of the second degree
- Up to 10 years in state prison
Theft from employers, or embezzlement, often starts with small amounts and then graduates over time to larger amounts of money. Embezzlement of more than $75,000, a second degree crime, is not an uncommon crime in New Jersey and we have handled many of these cases. Often the money is used to support a gambling or drug addiction, or someone else’s gambling or drug addiction. While the reason someone committed embezzlement can have a bearing on sentencing, it is not a defense unless coercion is used.
Burglary (breaking and entering to commit a crime) and robbery (theft from a person using force or the threat of force) can raise the level of a theft crime to a third degree or second degree offense, regardless of the amount taken. Moreover, many people are surprised to learn that burglary does not always involve stealing. You can be charged with burglary for unlawfully entering a building or dwelling with the intent to commit any offense “therein or thereon,” meaning inside the structure or on the building’s property.
If a weapon is employed in the course of a robbery, it is a first-degree crime punishable by 20 years in prison. Using or possessing a weapon or even an imitation weapon, including firearms, knives, and brass knuckles, can also result in additional weapons charges, which carry tough prison sentences and hefty fines. In fact, New Jersey is known for enforcing some of the strictest gun laws in the United States.
The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)
Theft crimes are often appropriate for the Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI). This program will divert your case from Superior Court. Instead of being sentenced to jail or prison, you will participate in rehabilitative services, such as community service. In this regard, PTI is similar to probation. However, PTI also has some additional benefits for defendants.
If you complete the program successfully, the theft charge will be dismissed after a period of time ranging from six months to three years. Perhaps most importantly, you will not have a conviction on your record. As we mentioned earlier, previous theft convictions can be absolutely disastrous when seeking jobs or loans, which makes PTI tremendously beneficial in the long-term as well as the immediate present.
This program is available on a one-time basis, generally to first-time offenders. Our attorneys will help you understand whether you are a suitable candidate for PTI, and will fight hard in the interest of avoiding a conviction.
If You’ve Been Charged with Theft, Our Attorneys Can Help
Dedicated and aggressive, our theft attorneys offer results-oriented representation from the outset. We serve clients throughout Atlantic County, Cape May County and elsewhere in South Jersey. Contact our theft lawyers today for a free consultation. We are available seven days a week, 24 hours a day, including holidays.