Theft by Deception
The offense of theft by deception arises in many contexts in Ocean County. Whether the result of failure to return a deposit on a construction contract, an alleged insurance scam, stealing from an employer or another scenario, theft by deception carries serious consequences. If you were charged with theft by deception (e.g. fraud, misrepresentation, impersonation, etc.) in Brick Township, Toms River, Berkeley, Manchester, Jackson or another municipality in the County of Ocean, it is certainly in your best interests to hire the best lawyer you can afford.Brick NJ Theft by Deception Defense Lawyer
Here at Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we can offer representation by attorneys with qualifications that are definitely unique. Our team includes several former prosecutors who have served at both the county level and in approximately 15 Ocean County Municipalities, including each of those previously mentioned. The lawyers also possess over 100 years of collective experience defending theft by deception and other criminal charges in the county. To speak to a defense attorney in our Toms River Office, call (732) 286-6500 for a free consultation.Theft by Deception Charge in Ocean County
The offense of theft by deception is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4 of the New Jersey Criminal Code. This charge is triggered when an individual utilizes deception or misrepresentation to commit a theft. The following are some of the more frequently asked questions by individuals arrested and/or charged with theft by deception.How Does the Prosecutor Prove a Charge for Theft by Deception?
To obtain a conviction for theft by deception, the State needs to prove that the defendant purposely obtained property of another by deception. The main elements are the intent and the property. The defendant must have a purposeful intent to obtain the property by deception, the defendant must obtain the property and the said property must have belonged to another. The statute for theft by deception becomes tricky in determining what constitutes a “purpose to deceive”. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4 illustrates the following three particular instances which would constitute a purpose to deceive:
- The defendant creates or reinforces a false impression (e.g. law, value, who they represent, etc.);
- The defendant prevents another from acquiring information which would affect the other’s judgment of a transaction;
- The defendant does not to correct a false impression which the defendant previously created or reinforced, or which the defendant knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.
If the defendant genuinely believes that their false statements are true, then they will not satisfy the necessary elements to convict on theft by deception (i.e. the defendant lacks the necessary intent to deceive).How Is the Grade of a Theft by Deception Charge Determined?
The severity or grading of a theft by deception charge is determined by the value of the property stolen. If the value of the property obtained by deception exceeds $75,000.00, then the offense is a crime of the second degree. If the value of the property obtained by deception is between $500.00 and $75,000.00, then it is a crime of the third degree. If the value of the property obtained by deception is between $200.00 and $500.00, then it is a crime of the fourth degree. Lastly, if the value of the property obtained by deception is less than $200.00, then it is a disorderly persons offense.Which Penalties Are Triggered for a Theft by Deception Conviction?
If you are convicted of second degree theft by deception, you face five (5) to ten (10) years in prison and a fine that can reach. You are exposed to up to five (5) years in prison and a $15,000 for third degree theft by deception. A defendant convicted of fourth degree theft by deception may be incarcerated for eighteen (18) months and fined up to $10,000.00. The lowest grade of theft by deception is a disorderly persons offense that results in maximum penalties that include a $1,000 fine and up to six (6) months in the Ocean County Jail.Stafford NJ Theft by Deception Attorney
A criminal complaint accusing you of fraud, misrepresentation or some other form of deception in order to steal money or property can result in serious consequences. You are not only exposed to thousands of dollars in fines and the possibility of incarceration but also a record for dishonesty that cannot be removed for many years. Hiring a knowledgeable attorney can provide significant value in averting the ramifications of a conviction for theft by deception in Lacey, Stafford, Lakewood, Ocean Township, Point Pleasant or elsewhere in Ocean County. The lawyers that make up our eight member trial team have a century in practice between them, including years serving as prosecutors. Call us at (732) 286-6500 anytime 24/7 to speak to a lawyer immediately.