A theft is merely the taking of an item belonging to another without the other person’s consent with the purpose to deprive him thereof.
It can be charged as a second, third or fourth degree offense depending upon the value of the item taken, how it is taken, and the particular item. For instance, if a gun is stolen the charge is usually a third degree offense, as opposed to stealing a sofa which could result in a fourth degree offense, if the value of the sofa is between $200.00 and $500.00. Items under $200 are considered disorderly persons offenses.
Robbery is a theft in combination with a violent crime that can be charged in the first degree or the second degree in New Jersey, depending upon the intent and severity of the offender’s actions. Robbery necessarily includes the crime of theft and often includes an assault charge as well.
Robbery is defined as and act of theft where the offender:
- uses force or harms another person, or;
- threatens another person with imminent bodily harm, or;
- commits or threatens to immediately commit any crime of the first or second degree, such as murder, aggravated assault, or kidnapping.
Penalties for Armed Robbery
Anytime a deadly weapon is used while committing a theft and force or the immediate threat of serious bodily harm is made, the offense is considered armed robbery, a first degree charge in New Jersey. A weapon can mean a baseball bat, tire iron, or a car if used to assault someone during an escape. Shoplifting can escalate into robbery or armed robbery if force is used to escape even if no weapon was used.
Penalties for Robbery
A robbery charged as a second degree crime carries a possible prison sentence of 5 to 10 years. A robbery charged as a first degree crime, usually armed robbery or where serious bodily harm is inflicted, can mean imprisonment of 10 to 20 years. Any robbery charge falls under the No Release Act, meaning that anyone convicted must serve 85 percent of their sentence before becoming parole eligible.
Assault charges vary depending upon the degree of physical force, the use of a weapon, and the status of the victim. An assault charge can be deemed either a simple assault or an aggravated assault depending on the intent of the offender, the degree of harm inflicted and whether a weapon was used.
Penalties for Aggravated Assault
In New Jersey, aggravated assault can be charged as either second, third or fourth degree crimes. The degree depends upon the severity of the bodily injury suffered by the victim, use of a weapon, status of victim, or if an auto or other vessel was used. Simple assault is a disorderly persons offense or if committed during a fight entered by mutual consent, a petty disorderly persons offense.
Sexual assault is also known as rape which involves unwanted sexual penetration or sexual contact with someone less than 13 years-old and is a very serious crime. Less invasive sexual offenses fall under the categories of criminal sexual contact or lewdness. Criminal sexual contact can be defined as inappropriate touching or other violating acts besides rape while exposing one’s genitals constitutes an act of lewdness.
Aggravated Sexual Assault
This is an act of sexual assault upon someone either under the age of 13, or less than 16 if the offender is related to the victim, is a guardian or has supervisory power over them, such as a teacher, coach, or babysitter.
Or, if a sexual assault is committed while the offender attempts an act of robbery, kidnapping, homicide, arson, aggravated assault, burglary, or is armed with a weapon or threatens the victim verbally, with use of a weapon, or causes serious bodily injury, then the aggravated charge can apply.
Sexual Assault Penalties
Sexual assault can be a first or second degree crime. Sexual contact can be a second, third or fourth degree crime. Aggravated sexual assault is a first degree crime carrying up to 20 years in state prison.
If You are Arrested for Robbery, Theft, Assault or a Sex Crime
Do not give any statements to the police and immediately ask to speak with an attorney. Ignore any promises of leniency and immediate release, or any comments insinuating that they have evidence or statements from others that incriminate you.
Do not discuss any aspect of your case with anyone on a telephone or with any inmates regardless of your actions.
Contact a Criminal Defense Lawyer
Criminal charges can remain on your criminal record forever. Such charges may jeopardize your job and make it difficult to find other employment, obtain loans, travel, or acquire a professional license. If you are not a citizen, it can affect your immigration status.
Further, in New Jersey, pursuant to Megan’s Law, a conviction for sexual assault and other sex crimes can lead to public posting of your offense and identity, restrict your ability to find housing or employment, and require you to register in any municipality where you plan to live.
If you are charged with robbery, theft or any form of assault, the repercussions can be severe. An experienced criminal defense attorney can utilize exculpatory evidence, procedural motions and expound mitigating factors to ensure a fair trial. In addition, they may be able to decrease your sentence or have the charges dismissed.
If you or someone that you love has been charged with a crime, we want to hear from you.