Criminal Lawyer Elizabeth NJ

Criminal Lawyer Elizabeth NJOne reason you may need a criminal lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ is that someone is accusing you of theft. While theft may not seem like the most serious crime, there are different levels of theft and the consequences can range from mild to serious. If someone accuses you of a crime like theft, it means they are accusing you of taking someone else’s property without asking them. It also means that they do not believe you have any intention of returning this property. The criminal lawyer Elizabeth, NJ residents trust from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. want you to take this theft accusation seriously, so you should contact our office as soon as possible. We know that some accusations may not appear to be serious, but always arm yourself with a criminal lawyer. For more information on how we can help with your theft case, please call us. 

What are the different types of theft?

An Elizabeth, NJ criminal lawyer knows that you should understand the difference between petty theft vs grand theft which are two of the most common categories of theft in New Jersey.

Petty Theft. When someone accuses you of petty theft, they are accusing you of stealing something of low value. It also means that you are not being accused of using force or stealing anything while using a deadly weapon. One of the most common examples of petty theft is shoplifting. For example, if you are in a department store and take clothes totaling $250 and the store owner catches you as you are leaving, this would be considered petty theft. Other examples would be not paying for your food at a restaurant or eating food while you are grocery shopping and not paying for the items. 

Grand Theft. Especially when you are charged with grand theft, you will want to speak with a criminal lawyer Elizabeth, New Jersey, offers as soon as possible. Typically, when someone is charged with grand theft, it means: 

  • They stole around $1,000 or more (depending on the state’s rules).
  • Certain types of property were stolen, like a car.
  • Items were stolen directly off another person.

Other, more specific offenses of theft in New Jersey are:

  • Theft by deception: when property is stolen under false pretenses.
  • Theft by extortion: when someone knowingly obtains property by threatening someone with physical harm or other common threats.
  • Theft of lost property: when someone keeps property that was lost if they could potentially find the owner.
  • Theft of property that was delivered by mistake: when someone keeps a package that was delivered to them, but was not for them.
  • Receiving stolen property: this is also known as possession of stolen property, and of course you have to know the property you’re receiving is stolen.
  • Theft of services: this is when someone provides a service and does not receive payment.
  • Shoplifting: this is probably the most common type of theft, stealing from a store without payment.
  • Concealment of library material: this is when specific books or library material are hidden and not checked out to patrons when they’re able to be.

Theft can further be broken into levels of theft, with penalties attached. A criminal lawyer, Elizabeth, NJ can help you navigate potential offenses and penalties to find the best defense for you.

Theft Offenses and Penalties

New Jersey classifies most offenses to the value of the property involved. Below is a summary of penalties that may come after conviction.

  • Theft is considered “disorderly persons” offense in New Jersey if the value of the property or service was less than $200. This is also considered being petty theft. Someone who is convicted of this crime may receive 6 months of imprisonment and a fine of $1,000 save for exceptional circumstances.
  • Theft is considered a “crime of the fourth degree” in New Jersey is the value of the property or service is at least $200 but not more than $500. Punishment for this type of crime includes a fine of at most $10,000, and imprisonment for 18 months at most.
  • Theft is a crime of the third degree if it falls into these circumstances, though this is not the absolute list. If the property stolen is a firearm, motor vehicle, vessel, boat, horse, domestic animal or an airplane. This type of conviction leaves an offender facing punishment of 3 to 5 years.
  • Theft is a crime of the second degree if it falls into these circumstances, though this is not an exhaustive list. If the property is taken by extortion, is a controlled dangerous substance or is valued at over $75,000. This type of conviction has a term of imprisonment of 5 to 10 years. 

New Jersey’s Civil Penalties for Theft

Sometimes a person who commits theft may receive a civil penalty instead of imprisonment. This is especially true with shoplifting, and the parent, legal guardian or the person (if they’re of age) are civilly liable to the merchant that they stole from.

This means:

  • The value of the stolen goods is not more than $500, if merchandise cannot be returned for sale.
  • There are additional damages that arise from the incident.
  • There is a civil penalty of $150, in most cases.

Your criminal attorney can help you work through the events of the night in question to find the right defense for you. Some defenses are:

  • You had every intention of returning the item. If you can prove that you had every intention of returning the item to the owner, then there is no proof the intent to steal was ever there. 
  • You mistakenly took the item. Even if you did take someone else’s property, you may be able to show that you mistakenly thought the property was yours. This can be shown through receipts or proving that you had a similar or matching item. 

Being accused of theft is serious, and you should speak with our criminal defense attorneys quickly so that you can ensure you have a chance at a better outcome. If you would like to get in contact with a criminal lawyer in Elizabeth, NJ from Rispoli & Borneo, P.C. for your theft charges, please call us now. 

Impact Of Media On High-Profile Criminal Cases

Our Elizabeth, NJ criminal lawyer will share that high-profile criminal cases are deeply impacted by the media in today’s digital age. From the moment a crime is reported, media coverage can shape public perception and influence the outcome of the case. At Rispoli & Borneo P.C., we understand the complexities this can bring, especially for those seeking justice. Here, we explore how media attention affects criminal proceedings and why having an experienced lawyer by your side is crucial in such situations.

The Role Of Media In Public Opinion

Media coverage can sway public opinion long before a case reaches the courtroom. High-profile cases often receive extensive coverage, leading to widespread speculation and assumptions about the parties involved. This can create a biased environment, making it challenging to ensure a fair trial. As criminal lawyers, we see firsthand how media can complicate the justice process and the importance of mitigating its effects.

Pre-Trial Publicity

Pre-trial publicity can significantly impact the jury selection process. Potential jurors exposed to media reports may develop preconceived notions about the case, which can influence their impartiality. It’s essential for defense attorneys to address this during jury selection, ensuring that those chosen can objectively consider the evidence presented in court.

Media Influence On Witnesses

Media coverage can also have a deep impact on witnesses. They might be reluctant to come forward or feel pressured to align their testimony with the dominant narrative portrayed in the media. This can hinder the discovery of the truth and complicate the defense strategy. Our role as Elizabeth criminal lawyers includes protecting witnesses from undue media influence to maintain the integrity of their testimonies.

Pressure On Legal Professionals

Lawyers, judges, and other legal professionals often face intense scrutiny in high-profile cases. The media’s portrayal of their actions can affect their reputations and careers. This added pressure can influence decision-making processes, potentially impacting the case’s outcome. Our firm prioritizes maintaining professional conduct and focus on the facts of the case, irrespective of media noise.

The Impact On The Accused

Media coverage can have profound effects on the accused, both mentally and emotionally. Public scrutiny can lead to character assassination and a presumption of guilt, even before the trial begins. This can affect the accused’s personal life, employment, and mental health. As legal professionals, we strive to protect our clients from media-induced prejudice and ensure they receive a fair trial.

Social Media’s Role

Social media platforms amplify the impact of traditional media by allowing real-time updates and widespread dissemination of information. This can lead to the rapid spread of misinformation and rumors, further complicating the case. Monitoring and managing social media narratives is now a crucial aspect of legal defense in high-profile cases.

Jury Bias And Sequestration

In extreme cases, judges may order jury sequestration to prevent exposure to media coverage during the trial. While this measure aims to ensure impartiality, it can be a double-edged sword, causing inconvenience and stress for jurors. Understanding when and how to request sequestration is an important consideration for any criminal lawyer handling high-profile cases.

Post-Trial Consequences

Even after a trial concludes, media coverage can have lasting effects on the lives of those involved. Whether it’s the stigma faced by the accused, the ongoing public interest in the case, or the pressure on legal professionals, the media’s influence persists. Our legal firm is committed to supporting our clients through these challenges, providing ongoing assistance and counsel.

Addressing Media Influence On High-Profile Cases

Shaping the narrative of high-profile criminal cases is often heavily influenced by the media. Its influence can be pervasive and challenging to navigate. As Elizabeth criminal lawyers, we recognize the importance of addressing media impacts strategically to protect our clients’ rights and ensure justice is served. If you or a loved one is facing a high-profile criminal case, don’t hesitate to contact Rispoli & Borneo P.C., who has been representing clients since 1994, for dedicated legal support. Let us help you manage the complexities of your case with the professionalism and care you deserve.