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What are the penalties for stealing packages in New Jersey?

On Behalf of | Apr 8, 2024 | Theft Crimes |

In New Jersey, stealing packages is a serious offense that can result in significant penalties.

Swiping a delivery from someone’s porch or taking a package from a mail carrier are actions the law does not take lightly.

Criminal charges and fines

Forbes magazine reports that New Jersey is one of eight states in which package stealing is a felony. Individuals caught stealing packages can face criminal charges,  leading to fines and even jail time. The severity of the penalties depends on factors such as the value of the stolen items.

If the value of the stolen packages is relatively low, fines can range from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars. However, if the value of the stolen items is higher,  the fines are steeper and imprisonment is a possibility.

Restitution and community service

In addition to fines and potential jail time, convicted individuals may have to pay restitution. Restitution involves reimbursing the individuals whose packages the offender stole for the value of the items taken.

The court may impose community service as part of the sentence for package theft. Community service requires the offender to perform unpaid work for a specified number of hours. This serves as a form of punishment while also benefiting the community.

Permanent record

A conviction for stealing packages can have long-lasting consequences beyond fines and community service. It becomes a part of the offender’s criminal record. A criminal record can make it difficult to find employment, housing or educational opportunities in the future. It may also impact the individual’s reputation within their community.

Avoid legal trouble

To avoid the penalties for stealing packages, respect other people’s property and abide by the law. If you come across a package that is not yours, leave it where it is or return it to the sender if possible. If you witness someone stealing packages, report the incident to the authorities to prevent further thefts.

Theft of any kind is illegal and immoral. That includes swiping packages.