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Theft Defense Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

A conviction for theft charges can have a serious impact on the rest of your life. Depending on the degree of the charges, a person who is convicted of theft could face a wide range of negative consequences.

In a difficult situation like this, it is important to have legal counsel on your side. Whether you are guilty of the charges or the charges don’t fit your actions, it is essential to know that your rights are protected, what to expect in the legal process, and that you have an attorney on your side who will present the best case possible.

William Quirk has extensive municipal and criminal law experience. For nearly two decades, he has practiced immigration law throughout the country. He has also argued criminal cases in nearly every county in the state of New Jersey. With his experience and his willingness to listen, he will advocate for your future. William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC represents clients in Hackensack, New Jersey, Clifton, Paterson, and the West New York areas.

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Types of Theft

In New Jersey, theft is the unlawful taking of the property of another with the intent to permanently take the property away from its rightful owner. If someone takes control of property unlawfully, that is also considered theft.

Theft can be categorized in many different ways, from shoplifting and larceny to petty theft and grand theft. Larceny is specifically the taking of someone’s personal property, such as a bicycle or a purse. Theft covers a wide range of property, from real estate to embezzling funds. Receiving stolen property is also considered theft. Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney to learn more about how theft is categorized in New Jersey.

Theft Charges

Theft in New Jersey is categorized according to the type of property that was taken as well as the value of that property. In New Jersey, offenses are categorized as disorderly persons offenses or indictable offenses.

Disorderly Person Offense vs. Indictable Offense

Disorderly persons offenses are similar to misdemeanors. Misdemeanor theft is less serious than felony theft, where the value of the stolen property is lower. In New Jersey, disorderly persons theft offenses have a stolen property value under $200.

On the other hand, indictable crimes are similar to felonies. Felony theft is much more serious and therefore, carries more serious punishments. There are several degrees of indictable theft offenses in New Jersey.

Shoplifting Charges

Shoplifting is one of the most common theft offenses. If the value of the shoplifted item is under $200, then the charge will be for a disorderly persons offense. The maximum penalty in this situation is up to a $1,000 fine and 6 months in jail.

However, if the retail value of the item is more than $200 and less than $500, then the offense may be charged as an indictable fourth-degree offense. Shoplifting, and any type of theft, can further be charged as a third-degree or second-degree offense as the value of the stolen property increases.

As the charges becomes more serious, the penalties become more severe. A second-degree theft offense may include 15 days of community service and possibly 90 days in county jail, depending on if this was a repeat offense.

Common Theft Defenses

It’s critical to have a strong defense against theft charges. One common defense is that the taking of the property was unintentional; therefore, the action was not theft. For example, if someone put something in their coat pocket absent-mindedly and then walked out of the store, then this is an unintentional act and not theft.

Mistaken identity can also be used as a defense against theft. The prosecution must be able to prove the theft beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused did actually commit the crime. Reach out to a skilled criminal defense attorney to learn more about common theft defenses.

Theft Defense Attorney in Hackensack, New Jersey

Facing theft charges is a serious matter that needs to be handled carefully. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can help you seek justice during the legal process. With his decades of legal experience, William Quirk has the knowledge to help you during this difficult time. William J. Quirk, Esq., LLC represents clients in Hackensack, New Jersey, Clifton, Paterson, and communities in West New York. Contact the firm today to schedule a consultation.