As a defendant facing charges for burglary or theft in New Jersey, it is essential to understand your state’s laws governing these offenses. Burglary and theft are serious crimes that can carry severe penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record that can affect your future opportunities. Here is what you need to know about New Jersey’s burglary and theft laws:
Burglary Laws in New Jersey
Under New Jersey law, burglary is defined as the unlawful entry into a structure with the intent to commit a crime. A structure can be any building or facility, including homes, businesses, and vehicles. The intent to commit a crime can be any criminal act, not just theft. The key element of burglary is that the entry is unlawful, meaning that the defendant did not have permission to enter the structure or exceeded the permission granted.
In New Jersey, burglary is categorized into two degrees: second-degree and third-degree burglary. The crime of second-degree burglary carries significant penalties, including a potential prison sentence of up to 10 years. However, 85% of that sentence may be deemed ineligible for parole, increasing the length of time served. In addition to imprisonment, individuals convicted of second-degree burglary may face substantial fines of up to $150,000.
For third-degree burglary offenses, the potential consequences include a prison term of up to five years. Alongside the imprisonment, individuals found guilty of third-degree burglary may also be subject to fines of up to $15,000.
Theft Laws in New Jersey
Theft in New Jersey is defined as unlawfully taking or exercising control over property that belongs to another person with the intent to deprive the owner of its use or benefit. Theft can include a variety of actions, such as shoplifting, embezzlement, and receiving stolen property. The value of the stolen property determines the degree of the offense, with higher degrees carrying more severe penalties.
In New Jersey, theft can be classified as either a disorderly persons offense or an indictable offense (similar to a felony in other states). Theft is categorized into four degrees: second, third, fourth-degree, and disorderly persons offense.
Second-degree theft involves stealing property valued at $75,000 or more for certain types of property, such as a firearm, car, or controlled substance. It is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000.
Third-degree theft involves stealing property valued between $500 and $75,000 or certain types of property, such as a motor vehicle license plate or credit card. It is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $15,000.
Fourth-degree theft involves stealing property valued at more than $200 but less than $500 or certain types of property, such as a bicycle, smartphone, or other electronic device. It is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
Disorderly persons offense carries the potential penalty of up to six months of incarceration. However, if the offense falls under the category of a petty disorderly persons offense, the maximum jail term is reduced to up to 30 days. Alongside the possibility of imprisonment, fines may also be imposed as part of the punishment for these offenses.
Defenses for Burglary and Theft Charges
If you are facing charges for burglary or theft in New Jersey, you have the right to defend yourself against burglary and theft charges. Some common defenses to these charges include:
- Lack of intent: If you did not have the intent to commit a crime, you may be able to argue that you are not guilty of burglary or theft.
- Mistaken identity: If you were wrongly identified as the perpetrator of the crime, you may be able to prove that you were not at the scene of the crime or that someone else committed the crime.
- Consent: If you had permission to enter the structure or take the property, you may be able to argue that you are not guilty of burglary or theft.
- Lack of evidence: If the prosecution cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime, you may be able to avoid a conviction.
If you are facing burglary or theft charges in New Jersey, it’s crucial to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. A skilled attorney can evaluate the evidence against you, determine the best defense strategy tailored to your case, and help you navigate the criminal justice system.
Contact Bramnick Law Today For a Free Consultation About Your Criminal Defense Case
If you are facing criminal charges in New Jersey, you need a legal team that will fight tirelessly to protect your rights and preserve your freedom. Our team of skilled attorneys has years of experience in the New Jersey legal system, and we understand the complexities of criminal law in the state. We are committed to providing personalized legal representation to each of our clients, and we will work closely with you to develop a defense strategy that is tailored to your unique situation.
At Bramnick Law, we believe in treating each client with the respect and compassion they deserve. We understand that facing criminal charges can be a stressful and overwhelming experience, and we are here to guide you through every step of the legal process. We will keep you informed and involved in your case, and we will work tirelessly to achieve the best possible outcome on your behalf.
We are not afraid to take on challenging cases, and we have a proven track record of success in achieving favorable outcomes for our clients. Whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, we have the knowledge and experience to protect your rights and fight for your freedom. Don’t face criminal charges alone. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help defend your rights and protect your freedom.