Theft is an example of a crime that requires no introduction for New Jersey residents. Almost everyone knows what theft is, and many people have been the victims of thieves. Still, it is important to remember that theft, like all other crimes in New Jersey, has a specific definition under New Jersey law. This becomes important to people who are facing theft charges.
The offense of theft is broken down into several degrees under New Jersey law. The most serious gradation of theft in the Garden State makes it a crime of the second degree under certain circumstances. These circumstances include if the fair market value of the property stolen is equal to or greater than $75,000.
There are other circumstances that can upgrade the gradation of a theft charge to a crime of the third degree even if the value of the property in question is less than $75,000. First, if the property is taken by extortion, the theft becomes a crime of the second degree. Also, If the property in question is a controlled substance or a controlled substance analogue under New Jersey law, the theft becomes a crime of the second degree.
Finally, if the defendant is convicted of stealing $75,000 or more in certain government benefits, or if the defendant is convicted of stealing human remains, the defendant faces punishment for a crime of the second degree. Theft can also be punished under less serious degrees; a New Jersey theft and property crimes attorney can provide more information to people facing allegations of theft crimes.