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NJ Property Crime Laws

We have gathered the following New Jersey laws and statutes governing property crimes.  Highlighted below are the laws covering the most common property offenses of burglary and trespassing.  The statutes provided are meant only to serve as general information.  If you have been charged with a crime or offense under one of the following statutes, please contact Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at (732) 709-7757 for a free consultation.

Property Crime Laws in NJ:

  • 2C:18-1.  Burglary definitions. – In reference to the act of burglary, “structure” refers to any place adapted to be used for business purposes, or for the purpose of housing people overnight. The term “utility company property” is defined as property owned by a public utility or public agency for the purpose of providing utility services.
  • 2C:18-2.  Burglary. – A person is guilty of burglary if he enters or hides in a structure after normal operating hours with the intent of committing an offense.  Burglary is normally a third degree crime, but is elevated to a second degree crime if the offender injures or threatens to injure anyone, or is in possession of weapons or explosives.
  • 2C:18-3.  Trespassing. – Trespassing is the act of entering or hiding in a structure without proper authorization. A person may also be charged with trespassing for peering into a window or opening of a dwelling, in which its occupants have a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • 2C:18-4.  Lands defined. – Under this act, “lands” are defined as agricultural or horticultural lands devoted to the production of crops and livestock.  Posted notices or enclosures, such as fencing, may be used to prohibit trespassing onto these lands.
  • 2C:18-5.  Knowingly or recklessly operating motor vehicle or riding horseback on lands of another without written permission, or damaging or injuring tangible property. – The intentional or reckless act of driving a motor vehicle or riding horseback onto someone else's lands without authorization from the owner or occupant is an offense under this act.  It is also an offense to intentionally or recklessly damage or injure any property on someone else's lands, such as buildings, fences, crops and livestock. 
  • 2C:18-6.  Burglary and trespass offenses. – Damaging another person's property may be a disorderly persons or criminal offense, depending on the amount of damage.  A person convicted of a violation under this act will be sentenced to pay a fine amount, based on the level of conviction. 

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