Being accused of theft can occur in a wide range of scenarios. Theft can occur in a corporate setting, and in this case, it may be classed as a white-collar crime. People can also be accused of theft in a retail environment, or in a situation where it is believed that a person unlawfully entered a private property and took items.
If you have been accused of any form of theft in New Jersey, it will be necessary to adequately defend yourself. Before doing so, take the time to understand how theft crimes are penalized in New Jersey.
The consequences of being found guilty of theft in New Jersey
If a person is found guilty of petty theft as a result of being disorderly, the offense is punishable by up to 30 days in prison. They may also be subject to fines.
If it is found that the defendant stole property between the value of $200 and $500, they will face up to 18 months in jail, and possibly a fine of up to $10,000.
If the value of the property exceeds $500, they will be facing a minimum prison term of three years. They could face up to 10 years in jail if the value of the property is over $75,000.
The possible defenses to an accusation of theft in New Jersey
It’s important to reflect on your situation before establishing your defense strategy. It could be that you have a right of ownership of the property you are accused of stealing. In this case, you could argue that you had a valid claim to the property.
Alternatively, you may be able to argue that you made an honest mistake when depriving the property owner of their possessions. This is a relatively common occurrence in accusations of retail theft. It could be the case that you were distracted in a grocery store when you accidentally walked out of the premises without paying. Being able to document that you tried to return the property could strengthen your defense.
If you have been accused of theft in New Jersey, you must take swift action to aggressively defend yourself. By doing so, you may be able to avoid charges.