The Law of Theft in NJ for 2017: Penalties and Defenses
H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq., P.C. Attorneys at Law
Theft and Shoplifting Lawyers
39 Milltown Road 2nd Floor, East Brunswick, N.J. 08816
1028 Route #23 North, Wayne, N.J. 07470
1-800-9-RIGHTS  or (732) 257-5040
                    NJ Theft Penalties and Laws
Theft is the taking, using, destroying, hiding or transferring of another persons
property.  
Shoplifting and theft are considered the same offense.  Except that in
New Jersey Shoplifting carries an additional penalty of mandatory community
Service.  This does not mean that you cannot get community service as part of
your sentence for a theft charge, just that the law does not require the judge to
impose community service for a Theft Charges.  Most theft charges have the
first appearance in Municipal Court.  In NJ if the Theft charge involves a loss of
more than $200.00 or involves a credit card the theft charge will be transferred
after the first appearance to the Superior Court.

If you are charged with shoplifting or theft you face the possibility of going to jail no
matter how little you took, even a dollar store item.  Only an experienced criminal lawyer
can help you reduce or eliminate this penalty and win your charge.  Unlike other firms our
office has handled over 10,000 cases in the Superior and Municipal Courts of the State
of New Jersey.  For all Shoplifting and Theft Charges in NJ we offer a free in office
consultation with an experienced shoplifting / theft lawyer.  Call 1-800-974-4487 today
and set up your free consultation.  Our founder and managing Lawyer: H Scott
Aalsberg's has 24 years of experience and a 98%* success rate of winning, reducing or
eliminating the penalties in all theft and shoplifting cases, put this success rate to work
for you.  In your free in office consultation Attorney Aalsberg will discuss how he can help
you win or reduce your theft or shoplifting charge because even if you did it, that does
not mean that your guilty.  Guilty is a legal standard not a factual standard.  But to win
your case we need time.  The more time we have to work on your theft charge the better
the chance you have to Win, Reduce or Eliminate the penalties.      
98% Success Rate of Winning
Reducing or Eliminating the Penalties
on All NJ Theft and Shoplifting Charges
Fact:
72% of all state court
offenders were
sentenced to jail and
only 28% were
sentenced to probation
without jail.

Source: U.S. Department of
Justice.  
Don't Become A
Statistic!  Put Attorney H. Scott
Aalsberg's  98% Success Rate
to work for you in winning,
reducing or eliminating the
penalties of a NJ Theft Charge!
NJ Theft Defense Lawyer
H. Scott Aalsberg has
98%* Success Rate of
Winning - Reducing
or Eliminating the Penalties.
Learn How to Win Your NJ Theft Charge  
New Jersey Theft Charge and Penalties - Disorderly Persons Charge
Sentence: Up to 6 Months in Jail, Fines, Probation

The Fine for a disorderly persons offense for theft in NJ is up to $1000.00 or double the monetary
loss of the victim whichever is greater.  Probation is up to 1 year.

In New Jersey a theft charge is classified as a disorderly persons charge (considered a
misdemeanor in most states) under New Jersey law in general if the amount involved for the theft is
under $200.  However as noted above exceptions do apply (example credit card theft can be in the
amount of only $.01 to be a third degree crime) But even if your theft charge is under $200.00 this
will be marked on the NCIC database as a criminal offense even though it is not considered a
criminal offense in the State of New Jersey.  Because of this fact employers are free to consider a
person charged with a disorderly person offense for theft a criminal.

Many theft charges in NJ are disorderly persons offenses.  However, since disorderly persons theft
offenses still involve all of the same criminal penalties for theft as listed below, the same strong
defense is needed even for the smallest theft charge.  It does not matter if you face 180 days in jail
for theft or three years in jail for theft, one day in jail is too much to serve when you could have
gotten none.  Put Attorney H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq., high success rate to work for you today by calling
1-800-9-RIGHTS to setup your free in office consultation.  The Call is Free the results, could be
priceless.

New Jersey Theft Charge and Penalties: Fourth degree (4th Degree) Crime
Sentence: Up to 18 Months in Jail, Fines and Probation

The Fine for a 4th Degree Theft Offense in NJ is up to $10,000.00 or double the monetary loss to the
victim which ever is greater.  Probation is up to 18 months.

Theft is a crime of the fourth degree if  the value of the items are worth more than $200, but not
more than $500 or if the theft is by means of a credit card in which case the crime could be a third
degree crime depending on how charged by the police and prosecutor.

Examples of credit card theft include: having two or more credit cards in your possession that have
names other than your own even if the cards are never used.  Using a card that has someone else’s
name on it , creating a false credit card, to use a credit card even though the account has been
closed, or to sign a credit card when the signer is not the named person on the credit card.

In NJ Credit card theft is a specific form of a theft crime that is unrelated to the "value" of the theft.

New Jersey Theft Charge and Penalties: Third degree (3rd Degree) Crime
Sentence: Up to 5 years in Jail.  Ordinary Terms: 3 to 5 years in Jail, Fines and Probation

The  fine for a 3rd degree theft charge in NJ is up to $15,000.00 or double the amount taken
whichever is greater.  The probation time is determined by the court with a maximum term of 5
years.  The convicted defendant will also pay up to $25.00 per month to the probation department
for each month he/she serves on probation.

A theft charge is a third degree crime if the value of the items are worth more than $500, but not
more than $75,000 or if:
•The property stolen is a firearm (gun, rifle, pistol), or a motor vehicle, vessel, boat, horse, domestic
companion animal or airplane;
•The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog and the
amount involved is less than $75,000.00 or is undetermined and the quantity is one kilogram or less;
•It is in breach of an obligation by a person in his capacity as a fiduciary;
•It is by threat not amounting to extortion;
•It is of a public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in the
keeping of any public office or public servant;
•The property stolen is a person's benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source,
which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the
person's health care and the amount involved is less than $75,000;
•The property stolen is any real or personal property related to, necessary for, or derived from
research, regardless of value, including, but not limited to, any sample, specimens and components
thereof, research subject, including any warm-blooded or cold-blooded animals being used for
research or intended for use in research, supplies, records, data or test results, prototypes or
equipment, as well as any proprietary information or other type of information related to research;
•The property stolen is a New Jersey Prescription Blank as referred to in; or
•The property stolen consists of an access device or a defaced access device.
•Improper Use of Credit Card also may be charged as a 4th Degree Offense see below.


New Jersey Theft Charge: Second Degree (2nd Degree) Crime
Sentence: Up to 10 years in prison.  Ordinary Terms: Jail 7 to 10 years, Fines and Probation

The fine for a 2nd degree theft charge in NJ is up to $150,000.00 or double the amount taken
whichever is greater.  The probation time is determined by the court with a maximum term of 5 years
which if given must be served after any jail time.  The convicted defendant will also pay up to $25.00
per month to the probation department for each month he/she serves on probation.

A theft charge is a second degree crime if the value of the items are worth $75,000 or more or if:
•The property is taken by extortion;
•The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog and the
quantity is in excess of one kilogram;
•The property stolen is a person's benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source,
which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the
person's health care and the amount involved is $75,000 or more; or
•The property stolen is human remains or any part thereof.
Free Office Consultation:1-800-9-RIGHTS  
The 4 Degrees of Theft in NJ:
The Crime of Theft in NJ has 4 degrees.  2nd Degree is the worst with up to 10 years in
jail and the disorderly person offense of theft being the best with only up to 180 days in
jail.  Theft is graded by three means.  The first means is the amount stolen and the
second is by how the object or money was stolen and the third is by the type of item
stolen. Thus even if you stole only $1.00 on a credit card it is automatically a 3rd degree
offense.   
NJ Theft charges/offenses
different degrees depending
on the amount
alleged to have been
unlawfully taken as indicated
below.  The charge of Theft
(2C:20-1) can be anything
from theft of property, retail
theft, under ringing,  
shoplifting (2C:20-11),
receiving stolen property
(2C:20-7) theft by deception
(2C:20-4), theft of services
(2C:20-8),  fraud, writing bad
checks, credit card theft, or
any means in which a person
tricks, fools, extorts
(2C:20-5) a person to part
with property under a false
pretense, false fact or
assumption.  Most theft
charges will have an initial
arraignment in Municipal
Court and then be  
transferred if over $200.00
to the County Superior Court.
Types of Theft
NJ Theft Penalties By Type and Grade
Get the Best Theft Defense Call for a Free In Office Consultation.  Call Now To Win - Time is Not On Your Side
Attorney: H. Scott Aalsberg, Esq.
Lawyer H. Scott Aalsberg's *98% Success Rate to Win, Reduce or Eliminate the penalties is based on past cases and is not a indicative or a guarantee for future results.                
Credit Card Theft, Theft of Services, Theft of Merchandise, Stolen Property, Fencing,
Receiving Stolen Property, Theft by Deception, Theft by unlawful Taking, Theft of Property,
Theft by Extortion, Theft by Unlawful Conveyance, Auto Theft, Retail Theft, Employee Theft . . .
2C:20-3
Theft By Unlawful
Taking

2C:20-4
Theft by Deception

2C:20-5
Theft by Extortion

2C:20-6
Theft of Property lost,
mislaid, or delivered
by mistake

2C:20-7
Receiving Stolen
Property

2C:20-7.1
Fencing

2C:30-8
Theft of Services

2C:20-9
Theft by failure to
make required
disposition of
property received

2C:20-10
Unlawful taking of
means of
conveyance

2C:20-11
Shoplfiting

2C:20-13
Concealment of
Material from a
Library

2C:20-16
Operation of facility
for sale of stolen
automobile parts

2C:20-17
Use of Juvenile in
theft of automobiles

2C:20-18
Leader of auto theft
trafficking ring
Names and
Charges in NJ
NJ Theft
FACT #1:
The theft crime not
including shoplifting
most often charged in NJ
is employee theft.  
Employee theft is also
called retail theft.  Retail
theft includes under
ringing the price of an
item or not ringing up the
price of an item or simply
taking an item from the
store.  Retail theft is most
often found by the store
rather than by the police
and generally starts by
the employer questioning
the employee. If you
believe that you have or
may be charged with
retail theft call our office
immediately as we may
be able to reduce or
eliminate the penalties
you face with immediate
representation.
Defenses for
Theft Offenses:
The best defense to
a theft offense is to
get the best defense
lawyer you can.  
Theft offenders are
some of the most
likely to serve time
in jail, serve
community service
and pay high fines.  
The best defense to
a theft charge is a
factual defense or
defense based
around the states
witnesses are weak
or that the proof is
lacking or was
obtained by
improper methods.  
What is generally
not a defenses is
intoxication, mental
illness, drug or
alcohol problems.  
NJ Theft
FACT #2:
The 2nd most popular
theft crime to be
charged in the State of
NJ is theft by
deception.  2C:20-4
Theft by deception in
NJ is the act of  
purposely obtaining
property or services of
value from another by
deception.  Many times
theft by deception is
charged along with
other theft crimes
including, theft of
services and theft by
deception.
Handling Theft Charges Anywhere in the State of NJ including but not limited to: Credit Card Theft, Theft of Services, Theft of Merchandise, Stolen Property, Fencing,
Receiving Stolen Property, Theft by Deception, Theft by unlawful Taking, Theft of Property, Theft by Extortion, Theft by Unlawful Conveyance, Auto Theft, Retail Theft,
Employee Theft . . . We Handle All Theft Charges - Anywhere in NJ
No Aspect of the
Awards/Accolades mentioned
herein has been approved by
the Supreme Court of NJ
Click here for a link on the
methodology of each award
Copyright 2017 NJ Theft Lawyer H Scott Aalsberg