Burglary, Robbery & Other Theft Offenses
There are a number of theft-related offenses under New Jersey’s criminal code. Most of them are indictable offenses, which means you could be subject to a state prison term, if convicted. Our representation of anyone charged with any theft-related offenses would include a complete review of the lodged charges, and an investigation into any possible witnesses, including the alleged victim. There are many legal intricacies related to these types of offenses; so, it is very important to have experienced legal representation
First and foremost, it is important to understand the legal differences between burglary and robbery under New Jersey law, as people often confuse those terms.
Burglary can be either a 2nd or 3rd degree felony and is statutorily defined as someone entering into any structure or dwelling without permission to be there, and with intent to do commit a criminal act once inside. The intended crime inside the structure can range from drug use to assault to theft. One can be charged with burglary, regardless of whether anything of value is actually stolen.
Burglary is typically a 3rd degree crime; but, it is classified as 2nd degree when bodily injury occurs to an alleged victim, or if the person allegedly committing the offenses is armed with a deadly weapon. Second-degree burglary is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $150,000. Third-degree burglary, on the other hand, is punishable by 3 to 5 years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
Robbery can be either a 1st and 2nd degree felony. In New Jersey, 2nd degree robbery – commonly referred to as strong-arm robbery – occurs when someone injures, uses force, or threatens to use force against the alleged victim while committing or attempting to commit a theft offense. First-degree robbery – commonly referred to as armed robbery – occurs when the person committing the theft offense is armed with a deadly weapon, threatens to use a deadly weapon, or inflicts serious bodily injury on the alleged victim.
One can be charged with robbery, regardless of (a) whether anything was actually stolen from the alleged victim, and (b) the value of the stolen goods.
First-degree robbery is punishable by 10 to 20 years in prison and a fine up to $200,000. Second-degree robbery is punishable by 5 to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $150,000.
There are a number of other theft-related offenses in New Jersey, such as theft from person (3rd degree), theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, theft of services, and receiving stolen property. Classification of these offenses varies anywhere from disorderly persons (“misdemeanor”) to 2nd degree felonies, depending on the value of the stolen items, and the circumstances surrounding the alleged theft.
Diversionary programs, such as PTI (pretrial intervention), are typically available for several of these offenses, depending on an individual’s criminal case-history. Our representation includes, among other things, engaging the prosecutor’s office in aggressive negotiations for outcomes, such as dismissal, entry into diversionary programs, and noncustodial probation.