What is the Difference Between Theft and Robbery in New Jersey?

When an individual steals the property or services of another person, he can be subject to criminal charges. The exact charge a person may face depends on the circumstances of the act. While most people are aware of theft and robbery, they sometimes do not know the difference between the two. However, it is important to know that the difference. The laws regarding theft and robbery in the state of New Jersey are outlined below.

Theft Crimes

In the state of New Jersey, theft of movable property is defined 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 in order to benefit himself/herself or another person who isn’t entitled to the benefits. The grading of most theft offenses is dependent on the value of the item(s) stolen. 

The consequences of theft crimes are as follows:

  • Disorderly Persons Offense: The least serious theft offenses are classified as disorderly persons offenses and apply when the involved property is valued less than $200. These charges can result in up to 6 months in jail and fines.
  • Fourth Degree Theft: Property value is between $200 and $500. After conviction, the person is subject to 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: Property value is between $500 and $75,000 or the item taken is a firearm, motor vehicle, boat, horse, airplane, or domestic companion animal. If convicted, an individual can face 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: Property value is $75,000 or more; theft by extortion; or, theft of 1 kilogram or more of a controlled substance. If convicted, the person can face 5 to 10 years in prison and/or a fine up to $150,000, or double the amount of the victim’s loss.

Robbery Crimes

Robbery in the state of New Jersey occurs when there is a theft that involves violence, force, or threat of force. An individual may be charged with different degrees of robbery depending on the circumstances of the crime. Most robberies are classified as Second Degree. However, if the person attempts to kill another person or inflict bodily injury, commits or threatens to commit any crime, or is armed with, uses, or threatens the use of a weapon, then the robbery is classified as First Degree. The consequences of these charges are as follows:

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

It is important to know that robbery offenders are required to serve 85% of their sentence before being eligible for parole under the No Early Release Act.

Contact our Firm

If you or someone you know is charged with theft or robbery and wishes to speak with an experienced attorney, contact REM Katcher Law Group P.C. today.