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Jersey City Theft Attorney

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Any criminal charge can have lasting consequences on a person’s life. This is especially true for theft-related convictions. In addition to jail time and a criminal record, a theft conviction can result in, among other things, employers denying an employment opportunity.

If you’re facing a theft charge, you need a compassionate and experienced criminal defense attorney by your side. Bhatt Law Group has a team of criminal defense attorneys who have been helping people in New Jersey since 2006. Call us today at (201) 798-8000 for your free consultation.

Types of Theft

Under New Jersey law theft is defined as conduct where someone unlawfully takes or controls someone else’s property with the intent to deprive the owner of its use or benefit. Theft may involve either movable or fixed property as well as services.

New Jersey law also provides the following definitions of various types of theft:

  • Theft by Deception – Creating or reinforcing a false impression, preventing another from acquiring information which would affect their judgment of a transaction, or failing to correct a false impression that was previously created or reinforced
  • Theft by Extortion – Taking the property of someone else by threatening to inflict injury, accusing someone of charges, exposing a secret to subject a person to contempt or ridicule, or by other means of inflicting harm
  • Theft of property that is lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake – Coming into control of property with knowledge that it has been lost or given by mistake
  • Receiving Stolen Property – Knowingly receiving property that has been stolen or receiving property that the offender has reason to believe is stolen


New Jersey provides a separate and more detailed definition of shoplifting. Shoplifting may involve any of the following:

  • Carrying away, transferring, or concealing any merchandise displayed or offered for sale by any retail establishment with the intention of depriving the merchant of the possession, use, or benefit of the item without paying for it
  • Altering or removing any label, price tag, or marking that indicates the value of merchandise in a store for the purpose of trying to buy that item at less than the full price
  • Taking merchandise from one container and putting it in another container with the intention of not paying its full price
  • Taking a shopping cart from the store with the intention of depriving the merchant of its use or benefit


The penalties for a theft conviction often depend on the value or nature of the stolen property or service. If the property or service involved is worth less than $200, then the theft is considered a disorderly persons offense that carries a jail term of not more than six months and a fine not exceeding $1,000.

The offense would be a fourth-degree crime if the value of the property or service is more than $200, but less than $500. This offense would carry a potential prison term of up to 18 months and a fine not exceeding $10,000.

The offense would be a third-degree crime if the value of the property or service is more than $500, but less than $75,000. This offense would carry a prison term that lasts between three to five years and a fine not exceeding $15,000.

The most serious theft-related offenses are classified as second-degree crimes. This would involve property or services worth at least $75,000, a controlled dangerous substance that weighs more than one kilogram, or human remains, as well as all theft by extortion charges (regardless of the alleged value of the extortion). These offenses are punishable by a prison term that lasts between five to ten years and a fine not exceeding $150,000.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

A theft charge is not something that should be taken lightly. If you are facing theft charges in New Jersey, call Bhatt Law Group right away to speak with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys. We can help to ensure the best possible outcome. Call us at (201) 798-8000 for your free consultation.