Criminal charges for theft of services can occur from a variety of circumstances. Whether you refused to pay a contractor based on their failure to perform or if you received a personal service and you skipped out on the bill, the penalties will be severe. Depending on the degree of fault and whether your situation is more of a contractual issue, criminal charges for theft of services can be argued against by an experienced criminal defense attorney. If you or a loved one were arrested for theft of services, shoplifting, theft of property or any other criminal offense, contact the Burlington County Criminal Attorneys at Proetta & Oliver. Our attorneys include a former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General and our experience handling these types of cases speaks for itself. For an immediate consultation with a Mount Holly Attorney, please contact our office today at (609) 850-8284.
Theft crimes have always been some of the most common criminal offenses in New Jersey. Theft of Services has seen a particular uptick in the number of complaints filed in recent years. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:20-8b, Theft of Services involves the “purposeful attainment of services which the defendant knew were available only for compensation, either by deception or threat, or by false token, slug, or other means, including but not limited to mechanical or electronic devices or through fraudulent statements, to avoid payment for the service.” This language in the statute is quite a mouthful so I have broken it down for you as follows:
The Defendant purposely obtained a service
The Defendant knew the services were available only in return for compensation/payment
The Defendant obtained the services by (1) deception (2) threat or (3) false token (fake money/fake goods) AND
The Defendant’s purpose in deception, threat or false token was to avoid payment for the services
How Can I Fight My Criminal Charge for Theft of Services?
One of the best ways to fight criminal charges for theft of services is exploiting proof of intent (or lack thereof). While the Court generally permits certain presumptions of intent based on conduct, an experienced criminal defense attorney can craft an argument on your behalf the works to negate the State’s proofs that you or the defendant had the “purpose to deceive, threaten or provide false token.” These types of arguments are very fact specific and require an in-depth knowledge of New Jersey case-law and statutory interpretation. For more information on defending against criminal charges for theft, call (609) 850-8284.
What are My Penalties for Theft of Services in New Jersey?
Penalties for Theft of Services vary depending upon the value of the services. Depending upon this amount, you could be facing anywhere from a disorderly persons offense up to a second degree indictable offense. Specifically, the penalties are as follows:
Second Degree Theft of Services (Services Valued More than $75,000)
Carries up to ten (10) Years in State Prison
Third Degree Theft of Services (Services Valued Between $1,000 but Less than $75,000)
Carries up to five (5) Years in State Prison
Fourth Degree Theft of Services (Services Valued Between $200 but Less than $1,000)
Carries up to Eighteen (18) Months in State Prison
Theft of Services Disorderly Persons Offense (Services Valued Less than $200)
Carries up to Six (6) Months in the Burlington County Jail
Theft Attorneys in Mount Laurel NJ
Theft of services is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey. If you or a loved one were arrested for a criminal offense like Theft of Services, Theft of Property, Bad Checks, Credit Card Fraud, Shoplifting, Theft by Deception, Forgery, Money Laundering, Identity Theft or Receiving Stolen Property, contact the Burlington County Criminal Attorneys at Proetta & Oliver. We represent the accused throughout Burlington County and have handled cases statewide. If you would like to speak with an attorney today about the merits of your case or you would like to inquire about representation for a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us at (609) 850-8284. Firm Partner, William C. Fay, Esq., is a former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General with the skills and experience necessary to handle your case or the case of a your family member in Burlington County. The initial consultation is provided on a complimentary basis and we will gladly address any questions or concerns you have about the criminal justice system in New Jersey.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted.