Auto Theft

Although Monmouth County is not a hotbed for automobile theft, it certainly has many cars and trucks stolen every year. Locations where there is significant parking, for example, the Freehold Raceway Mall, Monmouth Mall and Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, tend to attract the greatest number of car theft cases. If you have been arrested and are facing a charge at the Superior Court in Freehold for stealing an automobile, the attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, you have landed in the right place. The eight criminal lawyers at our firm have been practicing in this court for over one-hundred years between us. Several members of our team are also former prosecutors. To speak to a lawyer with the experience you need, call our Freehold Office at 732-462-1197.

Charged With Automobile Theft

In New Jersey, motor vehicle theft is a third degree offense that carries a potential penalty of up to five years in prison and up to $15,000 in fines. Motor vehicle theft is distinguishable from carjacking, a significantly more severe offense. As a general rule car theft requires an individual to unlawfully take possession of a vehicle without consent or authority from its owner. The prosecutor must prove the following to convict someone of auto theft: (1) the defendant unlawfully took; (2) the automobile of another; and (3) had the purpose of depriving the true owner of the vehicle. A person purposely commits this form of theft when it is their conscious object to take the vehicle from its owner permanently. This is the dividing line between car theft and joyriding where intent is limited temporary use of a vehicle.

As previously stated, motor vehicle theft is a third degree crime. The permissible penalties that may be imposed at the time of sentencing include:

  • Up to five years in prison;
  • $15,000 fine;
  • Restitution;
  • A $500-$750 automobile theft assessment; and
  • Mandatory driver’s license suspension of one year for a first offense, two years for a second offense, and ten years for a third offense.

Freehold NJ Car Theft Lawyer

Stealing a car is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey. The penalties can be life altering if you are convicted so it is important to secure representation from the best lawyer you can find. The attorneys at our firm welcome the opportunity to discuss their qualifications. For a free initial consultation, call our Freehold Criminal Defense Firm at 732-462-1197.