Theft of Movable Property Attorney in Hudson County


New Jersey has the highest population per capita of any state and with all those people in a tight space it leads to high volume of theft crimes. Theft of movable property deals with the specific theft crime of taking an object that belongs to someone else with the purpose to withhold it from its rightful owner. One of the most common examples of theft of movable property is when some leaves their cell phone unattended and another person takes it. This is different than Theft by Deception, which deals with tricking a victim into giving you something of value based on a lie. Meanwhile if the theft of movable property took place within a retail business, the crime would be considered Shoplifting. All theft crimes are serious and can result in restitution, fines, probation and even incarceration. At William Proetta Criminal Law, our criminal defense attorneys are experienced in defending clients against theft of movable property charges. In fact, we are often able to work with the prosecutor to secure a downgrade, remand, or even a dismissal on the merits or through Pre-Trial Intervention. We represent clients throughout New Jersey including Hoboken, Jersey City, Newark, Bloomfield, Union City, Kearny, Montclair, and North Bergen. If you would like to speak with an experienced theft criminal attorney then contact our office, conveniently located in Jersey City, for a free consultation at (201) 793-8018.


The New Jersey statute for theft of movable property is listed below, in pertinent part, for your convenience.

  • 2C:20-3. Theft of Movable Property

Movable property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof.

In New Jersey, the degree for theft of movable property is directly dependable on the monetary value of merchandise or property allegedly stolen. A grading chart has been provided below.

Second Degree Theft $75,000.00 or more punishable by five 5 – 10 years in prison
Third Degree Theft Value between $500.00 – $75,000 punishable by three 3 – 5 years in state prison
Fourth Degree Theft Value between $200.00 – $500.00 punishable by up to 18 months in state prison
Disorderly Persons Offense Theft Value less than $200.00 punishable by up to 6 months in the county jail


Theft crimes are often fact sensitive which means the outcomes and the state’s prosecution can often vary drastically depending on such things as the amount of restitution involved, whether the victim recovered their loss, and eyewitness testimony. An experienced theft attorney can be essential when it comes to litigating these issues or working with the prosecution to successfully resolve the case. One of the elements that the prosecutor must prove in order to secure a conviction for a theft charge in New Jersey is that the defendant intentionally deprived the rightful owner of property. In other words, the prosecution must show that the defendant knew they were stealing the property and they also planned to keep the property from its owner. Depending on the circumstances of your theft case, this could open the door to possible defenses. For example, if you took possession of property but did not realize that it belonged to someone else, your attorney may be able to raise an affirmative defense that you were acting under an honest claim of right to the property. Similarly, if you had an agreement with the property’s owner to temporarily take possession of the property, your lawyer might also be able to raise an affirmative defense that you were not depriving the owner of the property.


If you or a loved one has been charged with theft of movable property or any related criminal offenses then contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018 to learn more during a free initial consultation with an experienced theft defense lawyer.