Theft By Deception: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4

Glen Ridge NJ Theft by Deception Lawyers

With offices in Newark, New Jersey

Essex County Theft by Deception Lawyers
Theft by Deception

Although all theft crimes are taken seriously by New Jersey law enforcement, special attention is often given to theft crimes that involve deceptive acts or deceptive words. NJ prosecutors will not hesitate to seek maximum punishments for defendants who are accused of misrepresenting the law or the value of an item. Examples of Theft by Deception include: a person who insincerely solicits funds for a charitable purpose; a contractor who fails to deliver on promises to perform work; and a gas station attendant who lies about how much gas is being pumped into a car. Regardless of the circumstances, it is imperative that you contact an attorney.

The attorneys at the Tormey Law Firm represent clients accused of theft offenses in Bloomfield, Montclair, and everywhere else in Essex County, NJ. We understand the complexity of theft laws in New Jersey and we have a track record of success in these kinds of cases. We also have criminal defense background and experience that you can count on. The firm’s founding partner, Travis J. Tormey, previously worked for two of the largest and most well-respected law firms in New Jersey. Additionally, our litigation team includes a former county and municipal prosecutor who knows how the criminal justice system works inside and out.

Contact the Tormey Law Firm

Call us today at 201-654-3464 to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney and begin your defense.

NJ Theft by Deception Statute: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4

Theft by Deception charges are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. A person is guilty of Theft by Deception if they:

  1. Create or reinforce a false impression about the law or the value of an item
  2. Hide crucial information about a transaction from another person
  3. Fail to correct a false impression that the deceiver either previously created or knows to be influencing another person

It does not matter if the person who was deceived should have known better. The law is meant to protect the most helpless individuals. That’s why an offender cannot trick an elderly person into sending them money and then claim that the elderly person did not act reasonably. All that matters is that the other person relied upon the offender’s words or actions.

Additionally, keep in mind that you can be charged with Theft by Deception even if you did not explicitly communicate in the form of words or writing. That’s because failing to correct a false impression is also a violation of the law.

Deception Must Implicate Matters of Pecuniary Significance

An important requirement of the law is that the deception must pertain to a matter of pecuniary or financial significance. Merely boasting or exaggeration is not a violation of the law; the deception must have a tangible effect on a transaction and result in an economic gain or loss.

“Intent” Requirement for Theft by Deception

Another requirement of the law is that the offender intended to deceive the other person. For example, you cannot solicit funds from another person for a particular item and then deliver a different item in return. However, if you lacked the requisite state of mind at the time of the transaction and actually intended to complete the transaction as agreed to, then it might be possible to contest the charges.

Penalties for Theft by Deception in Essex County, NJ

The penalties for theft crimes in New Jersey are typically determined by the value of the items or the amount of money involved:

  • $75,000 or More: 5–10 years in New Jersey State Prison
  • $500–$75,000: 3–5 years in New Jersey State Prison
  • $200–$500: Up to 18 months in New Jersey State Prison
  • $200 or Less: Up to 6 months in Essex County Jail

Contact an Orange NJ Theft by Deception Lawyer

The Tormey Law Firm has the experience and the knowledge needed to fight your Theft by Deception charges and help you avoid the most significant penalties. Call us now at 201-654-3464 to speak with a member of our litigation team, or email us to schedule a free consultation at our Newark office.

Client Reviews
testimonials reviews
  • "Travis Tormey is the only lawyer I seek out to handle my legal affairs. Over the last four years, I have used Mr. Tormey’s services on numerous occasions to my great benefit. He promptly returns my messages, takes the time..."

  • "Travis Tormey is a superb attorney. He is skilled and knowledgeable. He handled my case with respect, kindness and quiet assurance. I would trust him with all future legal needs. He has many contacts in the legal profession..."

  • "Mr. Tormey is a consummate professional. Our case was sensitive and complicated and unusually lengthy for a juvenile case. For 8 months Mr. Tormey faithfully worked our case and never failed to show for court once. Punctual, disciplined..."

  • "Travis Tormey is an outstanding attorney. He helped me tremendously, more so than I ever could have imagined. He handled all aspects of my case with compassion, respect, and immense competence. He is a skilled and knowledge..."

  • "I was extremely nervous and anticipating the worst situation possible for my cases. Travis was a very reliable lawyer and everyone at his firm was extremely helpful. Travis went above and beyond inside and outside of the court room for me! ..."

Us in the News

  • Asbury Park Press
  • cbs radio
  • Daily Record
  • The Record
  • The Star Ledger
  • Our Offices

    Hackensack Law Office

    254 State Street Hackensack, NJ 07601

    Get Directions Hackensack Law Office

    Newark Law Office

    1 Gateway Center, Suite 2600 Newark, NJ 07102

    Get Directions Newark Law Office