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Theft of Services

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William A ProettaReviewsout of 30 reviews Keith G OliverReviewsout of 55 reviews

Somerset County NJ Theft of Services Attorney

Theft of Service Lawyer in Somerset County NJHave you been charged with theft of services in Somerset or Hunterdon County? If so, the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver can help. The “theft” section of the New Jersey criminal code, which is found under NJSA 2C:20, is broken down into various different subsections and each subsection seeks to cover specific types of conduct. For example, theft of movable property seeks to prosecute the actual theft; receiving stolen property seeks to prosecute the possession of stolen property; theft by deception seeks to prosecute a specific method used to obtain the theft and theft of services seeks to prosecute a specific thing, the “service”. So when it comes to defending theft of services charges one of the key aspects to look at is what actually qualifies as a “service”. One of the most common “services” that we see stems from contractor cases. Where one party alleges that the work was completed but the beneficiary failed to pay.  For more information on what will qualify as a service, please see below.

The degree of the theft of service charge in New Jersey is determined just like every other theft related offense, by the dollar amount of the alleged loss. So, a Defendant could be facing anywhere from a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) all the way up to a second degree indictable offense (felony). Regardless of the degree, if you or a loved one has been charged with theft of services in towns like Clinton, Raritan, Readington, Somerville, Flemington, Bound Brook, Bridgewater, Bedminster, Bernards or elsewhere in Somerset County, we strongly recommend that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A conviction for a theft of services offense could not only send someone to prison for up to ten years but it could also scar someone with a felony criminal record. If you would like to speak to one of the Hunterdon County criminal defense attorneys at our office about your options then please contact our Bridgewater office at 908-533-1064 or leave us an email. Our initial consultations are always free of costs, so if you have any questions whatsoever please do not hesitate to contact us.

Facing a Theft of Service Charge in Bridgewater?

All theft of services charges will be governed by NSJA 2C:20-8a. As touched upon above, theft of services seeks to prosecute a type of situation where a service is provided for, whether it be a contractor, cable service, telephone service etc. and the beneficiary of that service fails to compensate the provider. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following four elements:

  • The Defendant purposely obtained a service;
  • The Defendant was aware the service was only to be provided based on the provider receiving compensation;
  • The Defendant only obtained the service by deception, threat or fraud;
  • In doing so, the Defendant’s intent was to avoid payment.

So what is a “Service”?

Some of the most common “services” include the following:

  • Labor;
  • Professional Service;
  • Transportation;
  • Telephone Service;
  • Public Services;
  • Hotel Accommodations;
  • Use of Vehicles.

How Much Jail Time for Theft of Services Offense in NJ?

The degree of the theft of service charge will be determined solely by the value of the loss. Here is a breakdown of not only the different degrees but the potential penalties as well.

  • 2nd Degree Felony:
    • The value of the loss must be greater than $75,000.
      • If convicted, a Defendant would be facing anywhere from five to ten years in prison and a fine up to $150,000.
  • 3rd Degree Felony:
    • The value of the loss must be greater than $500 but less than $75,000
      • If convicted, a Defendant would be facing up to five years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
  • 4th Degree Felony:
    • The value of the loss must be greater than $200 but less than $500.
      • If convicted, a Defendant would be facing up to 18 months in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
  • Disorderly Persons Offense:
    • The value of the loss must be less than $200.
      • If convicted, a Defendant would be facing up to 6 months in the county jail and a fine up to $1,000.

With that being said, New Jersey does have several diversionary programs that a first time offender maybe able to take advantage of, which include the Conditional Dismissal Program, the Pretrial Intervention Program and Drug Court. For more information on these please program please contact our office at 908-533-1064.

Theft of Service Attorney in Hunterdon County NJ

If you have been accused of theft of services, burglary, shoplifting, receiving stolen property, passing bad checks or any other theft related offense for that matter in Somerset or Hunterdon County, Proetta & Oliver can help. Our attorneys appear in courts throughout New Jersey, including in Somerset and Hunterdon County and defend those accused of theft related offenses on a regular basis. If you would like to speak to one of our attorneys one-on-one about your options then please contact our Bridgewater office and set up an appointment today.