Theft by deception, while housed under the same chapter of the New Jersey Criminal Code as other theft crimes, is a separate indictable offense that can occur in more circumstances than you might think. In the simplest terms, theft by deception often involves the omission of facts or failure to correct misunderstandings related to the ability to pay for or provide services to another. For example, a common occurrence of this crime is the case where a construction contractor takes a deposit after having promised to do work and then either never starts the work nor returns the deposit. Individual’s who find themselves facing theft by deception charges in Morris County, New Jersey also tend to find themselves facing shoplifting, robbery, receiving stolen property, theft of moveable property, identity theft and even burglary. If you or someone you know has been charged with theft by deception in towns like Dover, Chatham, Morristown, Parsippany, East Hanover, Madison, Roxbury, Mount Olive, Mendham and Rockaway, the Law Office of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver can help. Our team of Morris County criminal defense attorneys have the experience and skill set required to successfully protect your freedom. Our team has over 100 years of combined experience on staff, including over twenty-five years of prior prosecuting experience. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of the eight Morristown theft by deception lawyers, please contact our office directly at (973) 309-7050. Now here is some key information with regards to the offense of theft by deception in New Jersey.
N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4: Theft by Deception Lawyers in Dover, NJ
From a more formal perspective, under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4, the statute that handles this particular crime in the state of New Jersey, “a person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains property of another by deception.” Deception, for the purposes of this statute is defined as follows: a person deceives purposely if he…
- 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
- Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction
- 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.
Of note, as relates to all of these possible avenues of deception, the state of mind required for a conviction is that of purpose. Put plainer, if the state cannot prove that you both purposely obtained the property of another and purposely engaged in deceptive conduct to obtain that property, then a conviction is not possible.
Will I Go to Jail if Convicted of Theft by Deception in NJ?
The gradation of this charge relates to the value of the property that is taken by deception. With that said, the offense can range from something minor such as a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) all the way up to something as severe as a second degree indictable (felony) offense. A disorderly persons offense applies to anything under $200. A fourth degree felony occurs for anything between $200 and $500. Anything over $500, but less than $75,000 is a third degree felony offense. Lastly, a second degree offense occurs for a taking in excess of $75,000. Therefore, for any taking over $200 you are facing the potential of lengthy periods of incarceration. A fourth degree crime can lead to a period of incarceration for up to 18 months. A third degree crime can lead to a period of incarceration between 3 and 5 years. Finally, a second degree crime can lead to a period of incarceration anywhere between 5 and 10 years. It is worth mentioning that in addition to this potential jail time, you could also face hefty fines. A second degree crime also carries with it the possibility for a fine of up to $150,000.
Theft by Deception Lawyers in Morris County, NJ
In short, given the potential severity of this crime, you cannot afford to face these charges alone. As stated above, here at the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges in Morris County. Our team of eight attorneys, consisting of a number of former prosecutors, know the ins and outs of this offense and stand ready to protect your rights against these charges. So please, if you or a loved one has been charged with this offense in Morris County, do not hesitate to contact one of our conveniently located Morris County offices for a free consultation with an experienced attorney today.