What is Theft by Deception?
Theft by deception is the act of stealing from another person under false pretenses. This kind of crime is often deliberate, as it is a manipulative way of gaining control of a person’s assets, property, or finances by the culprit falsely representing themselves, value, and their intentions. Theft by deception can take many forms in different situations. One common form of theft by deception involves knowingly using a credit card that has been forged, revoked, stolen, or canceled. By using this form of payment, the culprit gives the impression that the seller has been paid for products or services rendered when they actually have not.
Another common form of theft by deception involves writing and paying with a bad check. The culprit knows that that there are not enough funds in the account to cover the cost of the item or service they’re buying, but the check is accepted anyway, leaving the seller high and dry.
The penalties for theft by deception charges in New Jersey vary depending on the dollar amount of stolen goods or services. As the amount of stolen goods or services grows, so do the fees and jail time. Penalties for each grade are:
· Second degree: Fines of $75,000 and up to 10 years in prison
· Third degree: Fines of between $500 and $75,000 and up to five years in prison
· Fourth degree: Fines of between $200 and $500 and up to 18 months in prison
In order for a court to convict a person of theft by deception, they must look at various factors ranging from the perpetrator’s intentions to the value of the goods/services, and how it fits the law. However, it is not uncommon for theft by deception to be an innocent mistake.
Because theft by deception also relies on outside perception, it can be easy for someone to find themselves in a situation that seems like theft, but in fact is just an oversight. A badly written check could have been nothing more than using the check from the wrong account. Using the wrong credit card isn’t terribly uncommon either. Don’t be a victim of a misunderstanding.
If you have been charged with theft by deception, contact John W. Tumelty. John W. Tumelty is a criminal defense attorney who has been helping New Jersey clients fight theft charges for over 30 years and counting. Whether it was a mistake or your first offense, John W. Tumelty will be your best advocate throughout the entire process. There are many defenses to theft by deception charges, but a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney is essential to getting your charges reduced or dismissed. Contact our law offices today to schedule your consultation.