What is the Difference Between Theft, Robbery, and Burglary in New Jersey?

Posted by Daniel Rosenberg

July 17, 2019

Robbery vs. Burglary vs. Theft in New Jersey

In New Jersey, the terms theft, robbery and burglary mean different things and carry different penalties and fines. If you are facing charges of theft, robbery, or burglary, the team of criminal defense lawyers at Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates will help you understand the differences between the three as they walk you through your best defense options.

Often used interchangeably outside the legal system, the terms burglary, robbery and theft refer to specific types of taking somebody else’s property and each carries different consequences under New Jersey law.

Theft in NJ

In New Jersey, theft is the act of stealing property with the intent of never giving it back to the rightful owner.

Second Degree Theft

  • property amount of $75,000 or more
  • extortion
  • 1 kilogram or more of controlled substance

Penalty: 5 to 10 years in jail and/or a fine up to $150,000 or double the victim’s loss (whichever is greater)

Third Degree Theft

  • property amount of $500 or more, but less than $75.000
  • theft of a firearm, motor vehicle, boat, airplane, horse, domestic companion animal

Penalty: 3 to 5 years in jail and/or a fine up to $15,000 or double the victim’s loss (whichever is greater)

Fourth Degree Theft

  • property amount of $200 or more, but less than $500

Penalty: up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine up to $10,000 or double the victim’s loss (whichever is greater)

Theft (Disorderly Persons)

  • property amount less than $200

Penalty: up to 6 months in jail and possible fines.

Burglary in NJ

In New Jersey, burglary takes place when a person trespasses or unlawfully enters a property to commit any crime. There does not need to be an encounter with another person, and property does not actually need to be taken.

In New Jersey, burglary is typically charged as a third-degree offense. The penalty for third-degree burglary is 3 to 5 years in jail and/or a fine up to $15,000.

Burglary is considered a second-degree offense if it involves a deadly weapon and/or injuries (or threat of injury). The penalty for second-degree burglary is 5 to 10 years in jail and fines up to $150,000.

Robbery in NJ

In New Jersey, robbery includes force or a threat of violence while stealing somebody else’s property from them directly.

Robbery in NJ is considered a second-degree offense carrying penalties including fines and 5 to 10 years in jail.

Robbery in New Jersey will escalate to a first-degree offense if there is:

  • the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon
  • serious bodily injury inflicted on a person
  • an attempt to kill a person

The penalty for first-degree robbery can include fines and 10 to 20 years in jail.

The Difference Between Burglary, Robbery, and Theft

The primary difference between burglary and robbery is that burglary involves property (unlawful breaking and entering) and robbery involves force to a person.

Robbery is essentially theft that includes an act or threat of violence.

Expert Legal Defense in New Jersey

If you are facing theft, burglary or robbery charges in New Jersey, you need an aggressive and experienced legal team to defend you against consequences that could include the loss of your freedom, substantial fines and the stigma of a felony conviction.

Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates has a team of experienced criminal defense attorneys that can provide the aggressive defense you need. Get a free consultation to discuss your case and evaluate defense options, by calling us today at (609) 216-7400.

Need help?

If you are looking for representation in New Jersey known for delivering game-winning results, schedule a consultation today with Daniel M. Rosenberg & Associates.