Receipt of Stolen Property Defense in New Jersey
Many people do not realize that simply accepting something that has been stolen is a serious crime in New Jersey. An individual can be charged with theft if he or she obtains stolen property from someone else with the knowledge that it is stolen.
In order to obtain a guilty verdict against a defendant charged with this crime, the State must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The property must be received by the defendant
- The property must have been previously stolen
- The person receiving the property must be aware it was stolen
- The receiver of the property must intend to deprive the owner of the property
How Can I Defend Against this Type of Theft Crime?
This is not an easy crime for the State to prove. This is what is known as a crime of intent. The prosecutor must prove that a defendant had a certain state of mind at the time the crime was committed; namely, that the defendant not only knew the property was stolen, but that he intended to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the property. This is a big burden for the State to get over, and with the help of a qualified attorney, defendants can successfully beat these types of charges.
Grading of Theft Offenses
If an individual is charged with receiving stolen property, a theft crime, the crime will be graded as follows:
- Second degree: Value of goods is $75,000 or greater; between 5-10 years in prison
- Third degree: Value of goods is between $500 and $75,000; up to 5 years in prison
- Fourth degree: Value of goods is between $200 and $500; up to 18 months in jail
- Disorderly persons offense: Value of goods is less than $200; up to 6 months in jail
Having the right attorneys at your side, lawyers who know how to defend theft charges, can mean the difference between freedom and prison.