Theft crimes have created problems for people since the creation of what we call society today. Theft has been an issue for the world as long as we have understood what it means to have a right of ownership to something. Theft of food or horses was something that concerned people thousands of years ago, and theft of things today continues to be a worry and burden on us all. In our modern age, theft takes many forms, but regardless of what it is that is taken, it is something that can lead to an arrest and lifetime consequences.
New Jersey takes theft crimes incredibly seriously, and the Legislature has been on the forefront of lawmaking in new areas like identity theft, phishing scams, and email extortion. New Jersey also has some of the strongest laws in the nation regarding shoplifting. Together, the theft laws in New Jersey provide ample opportunity for people to get in trouble.
You can be charged with a theft crime if you are accused of taking someone’s property without their permission. What crime you will be charged with depends on:
What are you accused of taking? (money, property, retail items, personal information, etc.)
How much is the property worth?
Is this your first offense, or have you violated these laws before?
Are you accused of committing other crimes at the same time? (robbery involves force, burglary involves an occupied space, etc.)
All of these factors will come together to create a fact scenario that will lead to specific charges being issued against you.
Petty theft charges in New Jersey are charges that are misdemeanor level crimes. In New Jersey, we call misdemeanor crimes “Disorderly Persons Offenses.” Disorderly Persons Offenses carry up to six months in jail, a $1000.00 fine, the possibility of probation, and mandatory restitution. Petty theft charges involve matters where the amount of money involved is less than $200.00. A person who steals a pair of pants from a store (shoplifting) worth $70.00 faces a disorderly persons shoplifting charge.
More serious theft cases are considered felonies, and in New Jersey, these are called crimes. Crimes are graded First through Fourth Degree. Carjacking someone while using a weapon would be a First Degree Crime, while Theft of Services from an Entity with a value of $250.00 would be a Fourth Degree Crime. Crimes carry with them penalties which include prison sentences, fines of up to $150,000.00, probation, and mandatory restitution.
Every crime is different, and each fact scenario provides different ways to solve the accused problems. Investing the time and money into a lawyer who can help you will be extremely valuable when charged with a theft crime. Attorney William Quirk has helped many people facing the uncertainty of a theft-related arrest, and can help you too.
Importantly, theft crimes have consistently been found by the United States Immigration Courts to be serious crimes. Convictions for theft-related offenses in New Jersey are almost universally found to be Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude (CIMT). CIMT convictions cause immigrants to be deportable from the United States. A conviction for a CIMT can lead to removal proceedings being initiated by ICE and the Immigration Courts. If initiated, many times immigrants are held in detention until they resolve the immigration charges. Certain immigrants will be deported for a conviction like this.
Legal residents, student visa holders and those with work visas need to understand the possible deportation consequences that they face if they are convicted of a theft crime. The work needs to be done before a plea is entered.
William Quirk has worked for years to help those charged with theft crimes avoid major consequences. He has consulted with hundreds of immigrants facing an uncertain future due to theft arrests, and has helped many of them avoid the horrors of the immigration court process by negotiating resolutions that satisfy the prosecution while protecting the defendant. If you have been arrested for a theft-related crime, you need someone like William on your side. His experience in dealing with these matters can help you navigate these difficult issues that arise when you are arrested.