Motor Vehicle Theft in New Jersey
In New Jersey, theft of a motor vehicle is prohibited by the most basic and common theft-related crime N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition. Pursuant N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3, the theft of a motor vehicle is a third-degree crime and punishable up to five years.
The Bianchi Law Group is made up of former trial prosecutors and other “of counsel” attorneys who have handled the investigations and prosecutions of most crimes in New Jersey and will defend you for all federal and state crimes in New Jersey including Theft of a Motor Vehicle.
Certified Criminal Trial Attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court
Partners Robert A. Bianchi and David J. Bruno are also both certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as Criminal Trial Attorneys.
In New Jersey, the New Jersey Supreme Court has a certification committee which classifies certain New Jersey Lawyers as Certified Trial Attorneys. The process requires the prospective attorneys to satisfy strict criteria including extensive jury trials, a primary focus in criminal law, an application submission, a peer review process, a character and background check and to pass a written examination. Only 250 of over 98,000 lawyers (less than 1%) are designated as certified criminal trial attorneys by the New Jersey Supreme Court. This should be an important factor in finding a New Jersey criminal defense attorney to represent you. Many New Jersey Lawyers describe themselves as trial attorneys but most do not have the New Jersey Court’s distinction as Certified Criminal Trial Attorney.
Theft Crimes Penalties in New Jersey
The Penalties for Theft Crimes in New Jersey depend on the circumstances of the Theft. Under 2C:20-3. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition, the degree of the crime and the penalty depends on the value of the property or the type of property taken. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2(c) provides the grading of theft offenses.
Theft in New Jersey is a crime of the third-degree if the property stolen is a firearm, motor vehicle, vessel, boat, horse, domestic companion animal or airplane;
Crimes in the third-degree range can be punishable from 3 years to 5 years in the New Jersey State prison. The Sentencing Judge may also order fines and restitution as prescribed by 2C:43-3 and for all convictions for Theft of a Motor Vehicle in New Jersey.
Additional Penalties for Theft of a Motor Vehicle in New Jersey, Including Drivers License Suspensions- 2C:20-2.1
In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, a person convicted under the provisions of this chapter of theft or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle shall be subject:
- For the first offense, to a penalty of $500.00 and to the suspension or postponement of the person’s license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of one year.
- For a second offense, to a penalty of $750.00 and to the suspension or postponement of the person’s license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of two years.
- For a third or subsequent offense, to a penalty of $1,000.00, and to the suspension or postponement of the person’s license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for 10 years.
2C:20-18-Leader of auto theft trafficking network
A person is a leader of an auto theft trafficking network if he conspires with others as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager, to engage for profit in a scheme or course of conduct to unlawfully take, dispose of, distribute, bring into or transport in this State automobiles as stolen property. Leader of auto theft trafficking network is a crime of the second degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, the court may impose a fine not to exceed $250,000.00 or five times the retail value of the automobiles seized at the time of the arrest, whichever is greater.
2C:20-2(c)- Statutory Defenses to Theft in New Jersey
It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for theft that the actor:
- Was unaware that the property or service was that of another;
- Acted under an honest claim of right to the property or service involved or that he had a right to acquire or dispose of it as he did; or
- Took property exposed for sale, intending to purchase and pay for it promptly, or reasonably believing that the owner, if present, would have consented.
2C:20-2(d)-Theft From a Spouse
It is no defense that theft or computer criminal activity was from or committed against the actor’s spouse, except that misappropriation of household and personal effects, or other property normally accessible to both spouses, is theft or computer criminal activity only if it occurs after the parties have ceased living together.
2C:20-1.1-Presumed Unlawful Purpose
In any prosecution for an offense enumerated in chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes involving a defaced access device, any removal, erasure, defacement, alteration, destruction, covering or other change in such access device from its original configuration performed by any person other than an authorized manufacturer of, or service provider to access devices shall be presumed to be for an unlawful purpose.
Trial Ready New Jersey Criminal Lawyers
Like in all of our cases handled at the Bianchi Law Group, our experienced staff of trial attorneys and “of counsel” attorneys are there to make sure the Government can prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt. If our attorneys cannot resolve the case with a dismissal or a fair and just plea bargain, our lawyers at The Bianchi Law Group will not hesitate to select a jury and take the case to trial. That is what we do and what distinguishes us from other attorneys. We are former prosecutors, trial-tested, and certified by the New Jersey Supreme Court as certified criminal trial attorneys… We will not hesitate to go to trial.
At The Bianchi Law Group, we will take care to provide you Serious Attorneys for Serious Cases.