According to a recent news article, police in Morris County are warning residents of Morristown and the surrounding areas to be wary of a rise in car thefts and home invasions. Individuals accused of committing these crimes can expect to face arrests, prosecution and steep penalties.
The article notes that along with the rise in car thefts, “[t]hieves are now breaking into homes through unlocked doors or windows and, in some cases, forcing their way inside in search of vehicle keys.” These are serious criminal offenses that carry substantial fines and jail time under New Jersey law. Given that the police in Morristown and the surrounding areas are now focusing on these crimes, we expect to see a substantial uptick in enforcement, and we expect those who are prosecuted to face heavy sentences at trial.
Criminal Charges for Car Theft in Morristown
In New Jersey, car theft is prosecuted under the state’s “ordinary” theft statute. This means that stealing a car is a fourth-degree indictable crime in most cases. These crimes carry up to a $10,000 fine and 18 months behind bars.
However, car theft can lead to additional charges as well. For example, if you are accused of operating a stolen vehicle “in a manner that creates a risk of injury to any person or a risk of damage to property,” you can be charged with a third-degree offense carrying a $15,000 fine and three to five years behind bars. If you are accused of carjacking, this is an even more serious offense that can carry a 10 to 30-year prison sentence with at least five years of parole ineligibility.
What if you broke into someone’s car but didn’t take it? Or, what if the car was unlocked? In both of these scenarios, taking property from someone else’s car still constitutes theft under New Jersey law. In this scenario, you can be charged with a fourth-degree indictable crime just as if you had stolen the car itself.
Criminal Charges for Home Invasion in Morristown
Home invasion is also a serious criminal offense under New Jersey law. Under the state’s burglary statute, individuals convicted of home invasion are minimally at risk of facing a $15,000 fine and three to five years behind bars. In cases involving the use of weapons or infliction of physical harm, the potential penalties increase to 5 to 10 years in prison and a $150,000 fine. In these cases, individuals can face charges for aggravated assault and other crimes as well, and these crimes also carry substantial fines and prison terms.
Discuss Your Case with Defense Attorney Scott Gorman in Confidence
If you are facing charges related to an alleged car theft or home invasion, it is important that you speak with a defense attorney promptly. We handle cases in Morristown, and we have an office in Essex County as well. To schedule a free initial consultation as soon as possible, call 973-796-3800 or tell us how we can reach you online now.
Published in Categories: Criminal Defense