Criminal Defense Attorneys for Clients Charged with Theft Offenses in Union City NJ
Union City is a great place to shop, live, work, and visit. The burgeoning population is evidence of the city’s appeal. Whether you are browsing at a local store, stopping in for a quick bite to eat, or you call Union City home, you can find almost everything here. But, no matter where you go in the town, one thing that will not be tolerated is theft. If you take something that does not belong to you, whether it is from a store, a purse, an unlocked car, a front stoop, a local residence, or someone else’s bank account, even if you simply receive something that was stolen, you can anticipate being prosecuted for a theft offense. In the face of theft charges in Union City, New Jersey, you need sound legal advice and aggressive defense representation. Our attorneys have the knowledge and practical experience you need to successfully defend against allegations of burglary, robbery, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, shoplifting, credit card theft or fraud, and other common reasons for criminal theft charges. Contact us at (201) 793-8018 to discuss your case with a Union City theft defense lawyer who can provide dedicated answers and assistance in a free consultation.
Theft Crimes in Union City, New Jersey
Under the law, we may choose to share something, give it away, or sell it. This applies to our own property. Conversely, if someone takes our money or belongings with the intention of keeping them without permission, it is considered stealing. Overall, the law prohibits you or anyone else from taking things without permission that belong to someone else, referred to as theft. Any form of stealing is considered theft in Union City and throughout Hudson County, New Jersey. Generally, theft refers to an act of taking something that does not belong to you with any monetary value. It makes no difference whether you found the item, intentionally took it, or deceived someone into giving it to you. However, theft is not a single crime, but in fact, a collection of crimes with various specific elements. The following offenses, although technically defined under unique names in individual statutes, involve theft:
- Burglary: entering a structure or dwelling with the intention of committing a crime inside. Usually the “crime” committed or attempted inside is theft.
- Receiving stolen property: purchasing or taking an item believing, or having reason to believe, that it’s probably stolen
- Unauthorized use of a credit card
- Signing a check that does not belong to you to get the proceeds
- Shoplifting: taking items listed for sale without paying the full retail value.
- Theft of lost or mislaid property, such as picking up a wallet that did not belong to you and keeping the money
- Theft of services: receiving some service to which you were not entitled or have not paid
- Theft of movable property: taking any item, such as a watch
- Auto theft: stealing a car
- Theft by deception: creating a false or misleading impression to commit a theft
Theft is the basis of many offenses, but at its core, it requires the state to prove that you took something that did not belong to you and that it had some value. The value may be proven by the state through receipt, experts, and testimony. The grading of the theft will be based on the value, discussed in more detail below.
Degrees of Union City Theft Charges
The degree of your theft charge and the potential sentence will be based upon the value of the item(s) taken. Stealing or taking big ticket items like cell phones, computers, cars, and credit cards will result in a criminal complaint in the second, third, or fourth degree. These are felony crimes for which you will attend the Hudson County Superior Court, Criminal Division. The potential degrees of the crimes and punishments are increasing in severity as the value of the property involved increases.
Specifically, theft is a second degree crime if the value of the items is $75,000 or more, carrying a prison sentence of between 5 and 10 years. Third degree charges for theft apply when the value of the items is at least $500 but less than $75,000, which permits a sentence of 3-5 years in prison. In addition, you may be charged with a fourth degree crime for theft when the value of the property in question is $200 to $499, and the possible prison time is 18 months maximum. Lastly, if the item is valued at less than $200, your case will be heard in the Union City Municipal Court. This is often referred to as “petty theft” and is classified a disorderly persons offense. Disorderly persons offenses are not crimes in the traditional felony sense, but are akin to misdemeanors. Nonetheless, a conviction for a misdemeanor theft charge allows the court to sentence you to a term in county jail of 180 days, place you on probation, and order you to pay up to $1,000 in fines. You may also be ordered to pay restitution for the losses proven to be sustained by the alleged victim.
Union City Theft Defense Attorneys can Help
Our Hudson County Criminal Defense Lawyers frequently represent people facing theft charges in both Union City Municipal Court and Hudson County Superior Court. We know that the case is often not as rock solid as prosecutors would have you believe. For the reason, we routinely challenge the sufficiency of the evidence, the value of the property, and the facts as alleged. For more information on fighting a Woodbridge theft case, contact us at (201) 793-8018 today. Consultations are free and a member of our team is always available to assist you. Please feel free to fill out our online form if you’d like a Union City theft attorney at Proetta & Oliver to reach out to you.