What Is Larceny in New Jersey?

If you would like to learn more about what larceny and its consequences are, continue reading and reach out to our skilled Bergen County criminal defense attorney.

How is grand larceny defined in New Jersey?

The crime of theft, or larceny, occurs when an individual takes property that belongs to another person or institution. Property can include anything of value, such as jewelry, computers, automobiles, real estate, services, and intangible personal property. While many states classify theft as a felony or misdemeanor, New Jersey uses different terms depending upon its seriousness.Under New Jersey law, larceny is split into petty larceny – also referred to as a disorderly person offense or misdemeanor – and grand larceny, depending on the value of the stolen goods. Grand larceny is the theft of items worth more than $200 and is then divided into degrees, with a fourth-degree offense being considered a less severe felony and a second-degree offense being the most serious.

What are the possible penalties for larceny in New Jersey?

The penalties for larceny in New Jersey vary depending upon the degree of the offense as well as Degrees include disorderly person offense, second-degree, third-degree, and fourth-degree.

Theft (disorderly person offense)

  • Disorderly person theft or petty disorderly persons’ theft are relatively minor offenses (like low-value shoplifting) and include thefts of property valued at less than $200. They also apply if the stolen property is an electronic vehicle identity transponder. If convicted of a disorderly person’s theft, a judge can sentence the person to up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For petty disorderly person theft, a judge can sentence the person to up to 30 days in prison. The judge also may order the person to pay a fine of up to $500.

Second-degree theft

  • On the other hand, with disorderly person offenses that are minor, second-degree theft is the most serious grand larceny offense in New Jersey. The fine for a second-degree theft conviction can be as much as $150,000, or the judge can require that the person make restitution up to double the amount of the thief’s gain or the victim’s loss, whichever is greater. If convicted, the person also may be sentenced to five to 10 years in prison.

Third-degree theft

  • Third-degree theft usually involves automobiles, boats, firearms, and jewelry valued between $500 and $75,000. Penalties for third-degree theft include a prison term of between three and five years. The judge also may order a fine of up to $15,000 or restitution of double the amount of the gain or victim’s loss, whichever is more in amount.

Fourth-degree theft

  • A person convicted of fourth-degree theft may receive a jail sentence of up to 18 months. They also may be mandated to pay a fine of up to $10,000 or double the amount of the victim’s loss, whichever is greater.

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