Westfield NJ Theft Lawyer
Charged With Theft in Westfield New Jersey
In a recent case in Union County, a woman was able to use her position at a company to pay herself for overtime work that she never completed. She was charged with third degree degree crime for theft by deception. In another recent case, a young man stole his ex-girlfriend’s credit card and racked up $500 worth of charges on the card. He was later charged with a fourth degree crime for credit card theft, and third-degree credit card fraud. Indeed, simply walking out on a check at a restaurant in a town like Westfield New Jersey can result in your being charged with theft of services.
As you can see from the examples above, theft in New Jersey can take many forms. If the Westfield Police have charged you with any type of theft, then you need the assistance of a good criminal attorney. The lawyers at the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall help clients facing all kinds of theft charges in Westfield and throughout Union County. Contact us at 908-272-1700 for a free initial consultation with a lawyer on our staff. Marshall Firm attorneys are standing by to review the facts and circumstances of your theft case so you can learn what we can do to help you.
Westfield Theft Offense
There is no one umbrella “theft” statute in New Jersey although N.J.S.A. 2C:20-3 embodies a nice encapsulation of this pedigree of criminal offense. An individual violates this law if he/she “unlawfully, takes, or exercises unlawful control” over property of another . Just about any Westfield theft offense you could be facing has some level of similarity to 2C:20-3 including a charge for:
- Receiving Stolen Property
- Auto/Motor Vehicle Theft
- Credit Card Theft
- Theft by Unlawful Taking
- Theft by Deception
- Theft by Extortion
- Theft of Services
- Identity Theft
- Computer Theft
- Passing Bad Checks
- Juvenile Theft Offenses
Theft Penalties. Many theft offenses are punished in accordance with the value of the items stolen. N.J.S.A. 2C:20-2 lays out the various punishments in relation to the amount taken.
Petty theft. If the amount involved is less than $200, the theft is a disorderly persons offense. That means that the matter is handled in Westfield Municipal Court. If convicted, the following sentence may be imposed:
- Up to 6 months in jail.
- Up to $1,000 in fines.
- Restitution (which is paying back the value of what was stolen).
If the amount involved is more than $200, than the theft is considered an indictable offense, which means that the case will be prosecuted in Elizabeth at the Union County Superior Court. More serious penalties will apply in indictable cases. Indictable theft charges can come in the form of a second degree, third degree or fourth degree crime. A second degree theft offense, which arises when the amount involved is $75,000 or more, is punishable by 5 – 10 years in prison and up to a $150,000 fine. Third degree theft results where the money or property stolen is at least $500 but less than $75,000. The penalties at sentencing include 3-5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. The lowest grade of felony theft charge someone can face as the result of an arrest in Westfield is a fourth degree crime. You face up to 18 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 for this grade of theft offense.
Possible defenses. Not all theft charges have to result in a conviction. There are many examples where our Marshall Firm lawyers were able to negotiate with the prosecutor to reduce or eliminate the criminal charges against a client. In one case, a client shoplifted $300 worth of merchandise. Negotiating with the shopkeeper and the prosecutor resulted a resolution where the client paid back the value of the merchandise, and an additional fine. By doing so, the client avoided a criminal record, a possible 18 months in jail, and a possible $10,000 fine.
Westfield Theft Defense Attorney
If you are faced with a theft charge of any kind in Westfield, a defense attorney at Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help you. Our staff of seasoned lawyers will work to achieve the very best outcome of your case utilizing over a century of collective experience. Several of the attorneys are also ex-prosecutors so they know how the system works from both sides. Our history of success spans decades with countless downgrades and dismissal achieved. If you would like to speak to a lawyer at the firm in a free consultation, call 908-272-1700,