Facing Criminal Charges?

Your Reputation, Finances And Freedom Are On The Line.

Defense In Property And Theft Cases

If you’ve been accused of stealing, misusing or damaging someone else’s property, you need a theft lawyer who understands the charges against you and the best strategies for fighting these charges in the New Jersey criminal and municipal courts.

I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a partner at The Law Offices of Anthony N. Palumbo, and an aggressive and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer with more than 35 years of criminal law experience.

For 10 years, I worked on behalf of four large department stores, prosecuting theft cases. I obtained this employment after I obtained 4 consecutive not guilty verdicts in municipal court trials. I am also a former Union County Assistant Prosecutor and former Cranford Municipal Prosecutor, giving me a unique edge as a theft defense attorney. Additionally, in my previous experience as a chief public defender in the city of Linden, New Jersey and as a private attorney, I successfully represented hundreds and hundreds of defendants charged with shoplifting

Contact me by calling 908-272-9700 to schedule a free initial consultation about theft or property crimes charges.

Understanding Your Theft Charges

Sometimes the definition of a theft crime can include innocent behavior like when a frazzled mom puts grocery items beneath a shopping cart and forgets to pay for them, or when a teen sips a drink in a store and casually throws out the bottle without thinking. There are many different theft charges in New Jersey that vary based on the items stolen, the intent behind the act, and the circumstances surrounding the incident. Some of these charges include:

Related charges include burglary, breaking into or entering a home or business in order to commit a crime, usually theft and the violent crime of robbery, which involves taking something from another using force or the threat of force. In these cases, it is critical to seek representation from an experienced robbery lawyer to ensure you are treated fairly under the law. I defend people who have been charged with property crimes in criminal, municipal and juvenile courts.

Penalties For Theft In New Jersey

In New Jersey, not all theft charges are determined by the value of the stolen property. For example, charges for theft of auto or identity theft are not dependent on monetary value. However, charges for other theft crimes like receiving stolen property, shoplifting, theft by unlawful taking, and theft by deception are based on the value of property stolen. The value of property is determined based on the market value at the time of the theft.

Petty Theft

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2, Petty theft results when the stolen property is valued at less than $200. Petty theft is a disorderly persons offense which is a minor non-indictable offense under New Jersey law. Take a look at the following penalties that result from a conviction of petty theft.

Less than $200

  • Up to 6 months in prison
  • $1,000 in fines
  • Restitution for stolen property

Restitution is a penalty that applies to all theft offenses, and it means you have to pay back the owner the market value of the property at the time it was stolen.

Indictable Theft

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2, indictable theft is divided into 2nd, 3rd, and 4th degree charges based on the value of the property stolen. The higher the value of the property stolen, the greater the charges will be, and the greater the penalty if an individual is convicted. Take a look at the following breakdown of the different property values and their resulting charges.

Less than $500, but more than $200

  • 4th degree crime
  • Up to 18 months in prison
  • Up to $25,000 in fines
  • Restitution for stolen property

Between $500 and $75,000

  • 3rd degree crime
  • 3 to 5 years in prison
  • Restitution for stolen property

$75,000 or more

  • 2nd degree crime
  • 5 to 10 years in prison
  • Restitution for stolen property

Unique Experience With Shoplifting Charges

One of the most common theft offenses is shoplifting, typically a municipal offense. But shoplifting more than $1,000 worth of goods is a criminal offense.

Without a proven shoplifting lawyer by your side, you may face serious penalties including large fines and jail time. Under certain circumstances, however, it is possible to get criminal shoplifting charges downgraded to municipal charges. I dedicate decades of experience in theft cases to find the strongest defense in these cases, so my clients can retain their freedom and move forward with their lives.

Contact A Skilled Theft Lawyer

Every case is unique, and the best defense strategy will depend on the specific charges and the evidence the prosecutor has against you, as well as your side of the story. If you have been accused of a theft or property crime, contact me online or call 908-272-9700 to set up your free initial consultation now.