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Theft of Movable Property

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Toms River Theft of Movable Property Charges N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3(a)

What may have once began as a dispute between friends or family may have devolved into calls to Toms River Police and handcuffs being placed on your wrists. This scenario happens far too often when items of value are in dispute between two parties. Whether it was miscommunication or malice, the end result is the same: arrest. We have seen defendant involved in situations as simple as a “stolen” phone, all the way up to the more severe situation involving theft of a $45,000.00 piece of artwork. Whatever the situation, you can only do yourself a favor by contacting an experienced Toms River Criminal Defense Attorney. Contact the attorneys at Proetta & Oliver to begin mounting your defense against these allegations. We can litigate your matter on your behalf to ensure that your constitutional rights and safeguards are not violated.

What is Movable Property?

Movable property means property the location of which can be changed, including things growing on, affixed to, or found in land, or documents, although the rights represented thereby have no physical location.

Is Theft By Unlawful Taking a Indictable Offense in Lakewood, NJ?

For those of you who are unsure of the difference between an Indictable offense (sometimes referred to as a felony) and a Non-indictable offense (sometimes referred to as a disorderly persons or misdemeanor), allow us to explain. When dealing with Theft of Movable Property,, the value of the property will determine if the charges are indictable or non-indictable. If the value of the property involved exceeds $75,000.00, it is second degree indictable offense. If the value of the property involved is at least $500 but less than $75,000.00, then it is third degree indictable offense. If the value of the property involved is between $200 and $499.99, it is fourth degree indictable offense. Theft by unlawful taking of property with a value of less than $200 is a disorderly persons offense (i.e. that only amount that does not result in a felony charge).

If your Summons complaint says that your charges are a disorderly persons offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3, this means that your matter will be heard at Municipal Court where the offense took place. If you were arrested on a warrant and your charges involved property in excess of $500, then your matter will be transmitted to the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office and require an appearance before the Ocean County Superior Court in Toms River.

Will I Go to Jail for Theft of Movable Property?

Actual Imprisonment may be a possibility if you plead guilty to charges involving Theft of Movable Property. The length and likelihood of imprisonment varies based on the degree of the offense. If you are convicted of second degree theft by unlawful taking, you will face up to ten (10) years in the Ocean County Jail. If you are convicted third degree theft by unlawful taking, the judge may sentence you to five (5) years in jail. Fourth degree theft by unlawful taking carries up to eighteen (18) months in jail. The one non-indictable offense, disorderly persons theft by unlawful taking, still exposes you to up to six (6) months in jail. However, depending on your criminal history and the nature of your pending offense, the court may be inclined to show leniency at the time of sentencing.

However, if your charged with Second Degree Theft of Movable Property, the Ocean County Prosecutor may seek file for a detention hearing under the New Bail Reform Guidelines. If the Prosecutor succeeds in their motion, you will not be afforded bail during the pendency of your litigation.  

Pretrial Intervention and the Conditional Dismissal Program for Theft Charges

While it may not always seem like it, one of the purposes of the criminal justice system is to promote rehabilitation. Our state legislators created two Diversionary Programs for this very purpose. Pretrial Intervention, as known as PTI, is only applicable to Indictable Offenses and is intended for first-time offenders who will benefit from early rehabilitative services. This program requires consent of the Assistant Prosecutor handling your case (though this may be appealed). Conditional Dismissals are only available in Municipal Court and like PTI are only available to first time offenders. While these programs offer an opportunity to avoid a criminal conviction and possible jail time, they do require that you be placed on probation. This option may not be in your best interests depending on your lifestyle. Speak with your attorney to determine if these programs are a good fit before you pursue either option.

If you or someone you love is facing a theft by unlawful taking offense, then contact our Point Pleasant Office for your free case evaluation today. Our Ocean County attorneys can be reached night and day at 848-238-2100.

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