Harrison Theft Attorney
Defense Attorneys for Clients Facing Theft Charges in Harrison, NJ
Each and every day there are countless ways that people end up accused of theft offenses. From cheating on your taxes to taking someone’s wallet left in a shopping cart, theft is a crime with broad spectrum coverage in the New Jersey Criminal Code. Depending on the value of the allegedly stolen property, the property in question, and the degree of the charge, you could be facing jail for years or even decades. Theft charges can arise under a variety of circumstances in Harrison and everywhere else in New Jersey. And when it comes to theft, the nature of the allegations matters. A minor theft case will be heard in Harrison Municipal Court. If the crime is more involved or the losses sustained are more significant, you will likely be required to appear in Hudson County Superior Court, where the consequences of a conviction become increasingly severe. No matter where your case is heard or what court will be responsible for deciding your guilt or innocence, a dedicated criminal defense attorney can help deliver better results than if you go alone. William Proetta Criminal Law consists of several highly experienced criminal lawyers who have been defending clients facing theft charges in Harrison and throughout Hudson County for over a decade, bringing to each case a personal commitment to achieving the greatest possible results. Contact us at (201)-793-8018 or request a free consultation online and discuss your individual theft case with a member of our Hudson County defense team today.
Understanding Harrison NJ Theft Crimes
Theft is a generalized selection of criminal matters referring to taking property that does not belong to you. That being said, there are various types of thefts that occur on a regular basis. Some crimes of theft are simple such as shoplifting, while others involve more complex planning and execution such as identity theft. Each theft crime has varying consequences. These consequences appear to be more severe in cases involving harm done to individuals or thefts costing the victim(s) significant damages. For example, taking someone’s credit card is a crime of the third degree. The actual credit card itself is not worth much money but the harm that could potentially befall the individual card-owner can be grave. If you take the card and use it, you could potentially destroy someone’s credit, put them in thousands of dollars of debt, and assume their identity. The law recognizes that the simple act of stealing a credit card can ruin someone’s life and the degree crime for such an offense is higher than if you simply steal something from a store with a finite value.
Unlike stealing from an individual, if you take items from a merchant, the consequences and the degree of the crime can vary depending solely on the value of the items taken. Theft from a store can be punished less harshly than theft against an individual when the merchandise in question is of minimal cost. Perhaps the law recognizes that shoplifting itself occurs at a moment in time, typically with a cap on the amount taken, as opposed to a credit card theft, which could have lifelong impacts for the individual victim. Nonetheless, there are many types of theft offenses for which you or a loved one may be arrested and charged with a crime. Some theft charges that require defendants to appear in Harrison and Hudson County courts are as follows:
- Credit card fraud
- Identity theft
- Receiving stolen property
- Theft of Movable Property
- Money Laundering
- Writing Bad Checks
- Unauthorized withdrawals from bank accounts or use of debit cards
- Theft of prescription pads or prescriptions
- Theft by deception
- Theft of services
Based on each of these allegations, the law authorizes police to charge you with certain violations of the NJ Code of Justice. Some of these will be filed as disorderly persons offenses and others will be filed as indictable crimes. Disorderly offenses and indictable crimes have their own unique sentencing structure and the court will be within its discretion when imposing punishment in accordance therewith.
Consequences for Theft in Harrison, New Jersey
For disorderly persons offenses, such as minor theft involving less than $200, you will attend Harrison Municipal Court. If convicted, the maximum punishment is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. Some common theft cases heard in Municipal Court include shoplifting less than $200, theft of less than $200, and receiving less than $200 worth of stolen property.
If the value of the items exceeds $200, you are facing felony charges, which are heard in Hudson County Superior Court. Simply stealing something valued at $200-$500 is a felony for which there is a backdrop of 18 months in New Jersey State Prison. In fact, all felonies allow for state prison terms to be imposed, and the potential term goes up as the value of property increases. As such, stealing something valued at $500-$75,0000 allows for 3-5 years in prison, and if the amount is greater than $75,000, the possible imprisonment jumps to an alarming range of 5 to 10 years.
Of course, not all theft offenses are graded by the value of the item, but rather the particular charge. Taking a credit card, or taking someone’s identity, prescription pad or checkbook, will give rise to a third degree criminal charge, regardless of the amount. If you are charged with third degree crime and have a prior criminal history, you are facing state prison. However, if your court history is squeaky clean, you may be able to avoid serving any time at all.
Speak With a Harrison NJ Theft Defense Lawyer Today
Fortunately, there are ways to resolve your case without prison or county jail. For instance, if you have never had a conviction for a criminal offense, you may have the charges dismissed. Sometimes, the charges are dismissed when restitution is paid in full. In other instances, the charges can be dismissed if you take part in a diversionary program such as Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI). Further, based on the discovery in your case, there may be alternative defenses that our attorneys can use to achieve a dismissal via motion or argument at trial. Whether it is your first time facing theft charges or your fifth shoplifting charge, we are here to help defend you against all manner of Harrison theft charges. Call our local office in Hudson County, NJ for an appointment today or simply call (201)-793-8018 to discuss your theft case and how we can be of assistance.