Deal NJ Theft by Deception Defense Attorneys
“Theft” is a rather broad classification of offenses in New Jersey, encompassing a variety of specific charges that are distinguished by either the nature of the property stolen (i.e. movable property) or the manner in which the property was taken (i.e. deception, extortion, shoplifting, etc). The degree of these charges are similarly variable, determined principally by the estimated monetary value of the stolen property or in some cases, by the type of property (i.e. auto theft). When accused of a theft crime, it is crucial to understand the nuances of the specific offense, as there are significant implications associated with the type of charge and the burden of proof placed on the State to warrant a conviction.
When charged with theft by deception, the State must establish a number of critical elements in order to satisfy the charge against you. First, they must provide sufficient evidence to prove that you, in fact, obtained the property of another. Second, that you obtained the property in question through an act of deception. Lastly, that you committed an act of deception with the purpose of obtaining the property in question. Deception can take a number of forms; however, it frequently manifests in creating or reinforcing a false impression with regard to property, preventing a victim from acquiring specific information that would influence his or her judgement, or failing to correct a false impression despite your duty to do so. As for the grading of these charges, they are contingent upon the value of the property stolen, with penalties becoming increasingly severe as the value of the property increases.
If you have been charged with a theft crime in Deal, Asbury Park, Belmar, Eatontown, Freehold, or elsewhere in Monmouth County, the seasoned criminal defense attorneys at Chamlin, Rosen, Uliano & Witherington have successfully resolved countless cases of this kind for clients in similar circumstances. Since our firm was founded over 50 years ago, we have dedicated ourselves to protecting the rights and the futures of our clients, positioning them to achieve the best possible outcomes. To speak with a member of our highly experienced criminal defense team, contact our offices in Asbury Park or West Long Branch anytime at 732-440-3950 or call toll free at 888-328-9131.
Theft by Deception in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4
Section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4 of the New Jersey Criminal Code states that a person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains property of another by deception. A person deceives if he purposely:
a. Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention or other state of mind, and including, but not limited to, a false impression that the person is soliciting or collecting funds for a charitable purpose; but deception as to a person’s intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise;
b. Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or
c. Fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.
The term “deceive” does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.
It is important to note that in these cases, the State can elect to aggregate the values associated with several thefts and levy one charge against the defendant. In other words, the prosecutor can sum up the amounts associated with a number of thefts if he or she believes that you are responsible for each of them. In order to justify aggregation, the State must identify and establish a “course of conduct,” meaning one or more acts that exhibit a similar pattern of behavior. If the charges are, in fact, aggregated they may be significantly enhanced, increasing the potential penalties accordingly.
Penalties for Theft by Deception in New Jersey
Theft by Deception as a Disorderly Persons Offense (property valued at $200 or less): maximum sentence of 6 months to be served in the county jail
Theft by Deception as a Fourth Degree Crime (property valued between $200 and $500): maximum sentence of 18 months to be served in New Jersey State Prison
Theft by Deception as a Third Degree Crime (property valued between $500 and $75,000): term of incarceration ranging from 3 to 5 years in New Jersey State Prison
Theft by Deception as a Second Degree Crime (property valued above $75,000): term of incarceration ranging from 5 to 10 years in New Jersey State Prison
Contact Monmouth County NJ Theft by Deception Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
If you are found guilty of theft, the ramifications for your personal, professional, and financial life can extend far into the future. In addition, theft crimes are considered “crimes of moral turpitude” under the law, which means they may impact your immigration status if you are not a permanent U.S. citizen. In order to sufficiently protect yourself, it is advisable to seek knowledgeable legal counsel. Our attorneys have the accumulated a wealth of experience defending clients charged with theft in Monmouth County and we are always available to answer your questions. Simply call 732-440-3950 or toll free at 888-328-9131 today.