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

Those accused of theft-related crimes in New Jersey need effective legal representation to help them combat charges that may impact the rest of their lives. If you are being charged with a theft crime, read on and speak with our attorneys to learn more about the process going forward.

How is theft defined by New Jersey law?

In New Jersey, larceny, or theft, is when an individual deprives another of his or her property rights, but without the use of violence. “Theft” is a blanket term that New Jersey courts use to describe crimes such as shoplifting, theft by deception, and extortion.

What are the consequences of a theft charge in New Jersey?

  • Theft (Disorderly Persons Offense): Up to 6 months in jail, though only up to 30 days in jail if it is a petty disorderly persons offense, as well as potential fines
  • Fourth Degree Theft (for property stolen worth more $200, though less than $500): Up to 18 months in jail, $10,000 fine, or double the amount of the victim’s loss
  • Third Degree Theft (for property stolen worth more than $500, though less than $75,000, or the theft of a firearm, motor vehicle, boat, horse, domestic companion animal, or airplane: Up to 5 years in prison, $15,000 fine, or double the amount of the victim’s loss
  • Second Degree Theft (for property stolen worth $75,000 or more, extortion, or theft of more than 1 kilogram or more of a controlled substance): Up to 10 years in prison, potential $150,000 fine, or double the amount of the victim’s loss

What is the definition of robbery according to New Jersey law?

Robbery, on the other hand, is defined as theft, though accompanied by the use of violence or the threat of violence. For example, if someone points a gun at a bank teller and demands cash, he or she would be committing a robbery.

Will a robbery upgrade criminal charges?

There are two types of robbery, and either will upgrade a standard theft charge. The two types of robbery and their penalties are as follows:

  • Robbery in the Second Degree: Generally, you will earn 5-10 years in prison–make no mistake. You will need an attorney to fight these charges.
  • Robbery in the First Degree: Robbery in the first degree is when an individual, while committing a theft, either attempts to kill another person or inflict serious bodily injury, commits or threatens to commit a crime of the first or second degree, or is armed with and threatens to use a weapon. For first degree robbery, you may face between 10-20 years in prison.

Contact our experienced New Jersey firm

Our firm proudly represents clients in New Jersey who are faced with matters of family law, criminal defense, business law, real estate law, or estate planning. If you require strong and dedicated representation for any of your legal matters, please do not hesitate to contact The Law Offices of George J. Mardinly to schedule a consultation.