Theft by Deception
Monmouth County NJ Theft by Deception Attorney
If you have been charged with a theft offense in Monmouth County or elsewhere in New Jersey it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. Not only could a theft charge land a Defendant behind bars but it could also carry devastating collateral consequences. As you will see below, the theft by deception statute is extremely broad and as a result it encompasses a variety of different acts. Being able to attack the underlying intent is the key to defending most theft by deception charges. This is where an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense attorney can make a tremendous difference.
Need to Speak to a Lawyer about a Theft by Deception Case in Freehold
If you or a loved has been charged with theft by deception, theft of moveable property, burglary, robbery, heroin possession or aggravated assault the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our Monmouth County criminal defense attorneys have represented countless clients charged with theft by deception throughout their careers. Our attorneys routinely represent clients charged with criminal offenses in towns throughout Monmouth County including towns like Tinton Falls, Ocean Township, West Long Branch, Oceanport, Eatontown, Howell, Manasquan, Freehold, Middletown, Asbury Park and Wall. If you would like to come into the office and sit down with one of our attorneys to discuss your case, then please contact us at (732)858-6959. Unlike larger firms, Mr. Oliver, one of the firms founding partners, will personally be handling your matter and the matter will just not just be handed off to some associate. As always, our initial consultations are always free and we make ourselves available 24/7 to help assist in anyway possible. For more information on the offense of theft by deception, including what exactly the State must prove, see below.
How Serious is a Theft by Deception Case in New Jersey?
Scams have become an all too common thing in our society. As such, law enforcement has spent a significant amount of time and resources over the years in an effort to combat these schemes. In fact, the Federal Government which typically does not engage themselves in these types of incidents has become extremely involved, not only lending some of their resources to help investigate but also prosecuting some of the biggest cases as well, including identity theft. Anyone arrested at the State level for participating in these scams will almost be certainly be facing a theft by deception charge. As you will see below, this offense is rather unique as, depending on the value of the loss suffered by, the defendant could be facing anywhere from a small monetary fine up to a decade behind prison. Since these scams have become all too common, these types of cases tend to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
What Does the State have to Prove for Theft by Deception Charge?
Although N.J.S.A. 2C:20 covers theft offenses under the New Jersey Criminal Code, N.J.S.A. 2C20-4 specifically governs theft by deception offenses. The statute specifically states that “a person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains property of another by deception”. In order to be convicted of this offense the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office must prove beyond a reasonable doubt three material elements, they are as follows:
- The Defendant obtained the property of another;
- The Defendant purposely obtained the property by deception; and
- The victim relied upon the deception in parting with the property.
Ways to Defend a Theft by Deception Case in New Jersey
What is Considered “Deception”?
As you can tell, deception is the key to this offense. To prove deception the State must show that the Defendant purposely created or reinforced a false impression or they withheld information that would have affect the victim’s position in order to complete the theft. Being able to attack the State’s ability to prove the defendant’s intent is crucial to any successful defense on a theft by deception charge.
Will I go to Jail on a Theft by Deception Charge in NJ?
Just like every other theft offense in New Jersey, the degree of the theft by deception charge will be dictated by the dollar amount in question. The degree can be as high as a second degree felony and as low as a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor). Here is a breakdown in the degree and applicable exposure if convicted.
Second Degree Felony:
- Value of the “theft” must be more than $75,000
- Defendant will face anywhere between 5-10 years in a State Prison and a fine up to $150,000.
- Value of the “theft” must exceed $500 but less than $75,000
- Defendant will face anywhere between 3-5 years in a State Prison and a fine up to $15,000.
- Value of the “theft” must exceed $200 but less than $500
- Defendant will face up to eighteen (18) months in a State Prison and a fine up to $10,000.
Disorderly Persons Offense:
- Value of the “theft” must be less than $200
- Defendant will face up to six (6) months in the Monmouth County Jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Can I Get Pretrial Intervention on a Theft by Deception Case in Monmouth County
So as you can tell the applicable penalties if convicted could be devastating. Therefore it is imperative that you seek the assistance of an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer immediately. Depending on the underlying facts of the case and a Defendant’s prior criminal history, they may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs. If defense counsel can convince the prosecution and the Judge that their client deserves to participate in either the Pretrial Intervention Program or Conditional Dismissal Program their client may be able to avoid incarceration but a criminal record as well. For more information on either of these programs, including what determines one’s eligibility please feel free to contact our office at (732)858-6959.
Can the Court Order Restitution on a Theft By Deception Case in NJ?
Anyone who pleads guilty too or found guilty of a theft by deception case in New Jersey will almost certainly be ordered to pay restitution on a theft by deception case. With that being said, if a specific dollar amount cannot be agreed upon prior to entering a guilty plea, the defendant would be entitled to what is known as a Restitution Hearing. During this hearing it will be the prosecutions burden to establish what the actual loss was. It is important to remember that, when it comes to obtaining a conviction, the State does not need to establish a specific dollar amount down to the penny. All that is needed is to establish that a loss occurred and that the dollar amount exceed whatever is required by statute for the specific degree in which the defendant is charged with.
Looking to Speak to an Experienced Theft by Deception Attorney in Wall Township
Our attorneys have been representing clients charged with criminal offenses like theft by deception, shoplifting, burglary, theft by extortion, passing bad checks and credit card fraud in Monmouth County for years now. If you would like to have a free initial consultation with Mr. Oliver or one of the other attorneys on staff about your options, then please contact us directly at (732)858-6959. The attorneys at Proetta & Oliver serve all of Monmouth County, including towns like Lake Como, Hazlet, Fair Haven, Colts Neck, Keyport, Union Beach, Monmouth Beach, Asbury Park and Freehold. We are well aware of what a felony theft conviction can do to someone’s life. As such, we are dedicated to making sure that no stone is left unturned when it comes to representing our clients. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Time is of the essence with these types of charges.