Serving the Elizabeth NJ Superior Court & All Municipal Courts in Union County

Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

Over 200 Years Combined Experience

Former County & Municipal Prosecutors




Auto Theft

Westfield NJ Auto Theft Lawyers

You might not expect Westfield to be a hotbed for auto theft but the most noteworthy car theft ring in Union County over the last decade targeted residence of this suburban town. Several of the defendants involved in scheme were local residents from Scotch Plains and Elizabeth. The point is that you are not alone if you have been charged with a automobile theft or joyriding offense that is now pending courthouse in Elizabeth.  Our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a team of former prosecutors and  skilled defense lawyers who have been defending theft charges at the Union County Superior Court in Elizabeth for decades, including indictments and accusations of stealing a motor vehicle in Linden, Rahway, Plainfield and other locations. For an immediate free consultation with an attorney in our Union NJ Criminal Office, call 908-272-1700. A lawyer is available 24/7 to assist you.

Auto Theft Offense Under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3 & 2C:20-2.1

There is no specific offense for automobile theft set forth in the New Jersey Criminal Code so the general provision for theft offenses of N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3 applies. A theft has occurred in accordance with this law when someone takes possession of property of another with the intention of permanently depriving its owner of its value or benefit. The key consideration when you are considering a car theft is whether or not it was the purpose of the accused to permanently deprive the rightful owner of the motor vehicle. When the intention is to temporarily utilize the automobile, the violation is termed “joyriding”. 

N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2 sets forth the grading for theft offenses in this state. Special rules apply under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2.1, however, when the conviction is for stealing a car that make the violation a third degree crime irrespective of the value of the vehicle. Third degree auto theft carries penalties that include the possibility of 3-5 years of incarceration in state prison and a fine of up to $15,000.  As if this was not bad enough, 2C:20-2.1 triggers an additional assessment of $500 and a suspension of your license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of one year for a first offense of car theft.  For a second offense, the penalty increases to $750 and the loss of license period increases to two years.  For third or subsequent offenses, the penalty increases to $1,000 and the loss of license increases to a period of ten years.

Elizabeth NJ Car Theft Attorneys

Elizabeth ranks second in terms of the most likely towns in NJ to have your car stolen. The city is obviously the biggest source of motor vehicle theft cases in Union County. Whether your charge arose in this community or one like Clark, Cranford, Union, Springfield or Kenilworth, you are facing a serious crime that can result in significant jail time and heavy fines.  You cannot afford to face these charges alone.  Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges, including auto theft charges.  So please, if you or someone you love has been charged with car theft in Union County, do not hesitate to contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced attorney about the particulars of your case.