Theft vs. Robbery | What is the Difference?

Stealing property can cause a person to face criminal charges. However, the charges are not always the same and can vary depending on the circumstances. While everyone has heard of theft or robbery, they usually do not know the difference between the two. Continue reading to learn more and contact an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney if you are facing these charges. 

What is a Theft Crime?

New Jersey defines theft of movable property as unlawfully taking or exercising unlawful control of another’s movable property with the intent to deprive the owner. Theft of immovable property is unlawfully transferring any interest in another’s immovable property to benefit themselves or another person who isn’t entitled to the benefits. These crimes are classified as follows:

  • Disorderly Persons Offense: When the property stolen is valued less than $200. It can result in up to 6 months in jail and fines.
  • Fourth Degree Theft: When the property stolen is valued between $200 and $500. This can result in up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000, or double the amount of the victim’s loss.
  • Third Degree Theft: When the stolen property is valued between $500 and $75,000 or it is a firearm, motor vehicle, boat, horse, airplane, or domestic companion animal. This can result in 3-5 years in prison and/or a fine up to $15,000, or double the amount of the victim’s loss.
  • Second Degree Theft: When the stolen property is valued at $75,000 or more; theft by extortion; or, theft of 1 kilogram or more of a controlled substance. This can result in 5 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $150,000, or double the amount of the victim’s loss.

What is Robbery?

New Jersey defines robbery as theft that involves violence, force, or threat of force. There are different degrees of robbery depending on what took place. While most are classified as  second degree offenses, a robbery can be a first degree offense if the offender attempts to kill another person or inflicts bodily injury, commits or threatens to commit a crime, or is armed with, uses, or threatens the use of a weapon. The consequences of these charges include:

  • Robbery in the Second Degree: 5 to 10 years in prison as well as a $150,000 fine.
  • Robbery in the First Degree: 10 to 20 years in jail.

A person convicted of robbery must 85% of their sentence before being eligible for parole, as stated under the No Early Release Act.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know would like to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney, contact REM Katcher Law Group P.C. today.