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Theft of Services Defense Lawyers
Charged With Theft of Services in New Brunswick, Woodbridge, East Brunswick, Piscataway, Edison or Another Middlesex County Municipality
Former Middlesex County Prosecutors At Our Criminal Defense Firm Are Ready to Defend Your Theft Of Services Charge
A fairly common theft offense handled by our defense lawyers is theft of services. This offense is triggered when services of another is stolen as opposed to property or money. If you were charged with theft because you allegedly stole utility service (e.g. water, gas, electric or cable), EZ pass tolls, a rental care, train fares, parking fees or any other item falling under N.J.S.A. 2C:20-8, it is in your best interests to contact an attorney to discuss what is involved with this offense and your options for averting a conviction. The lawyers at our criminal defense firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, include former prosecutors who have served at the County level and in Edison, New Brunswick, East Brunswick, Piscataway, Woodbridge and five other municipalities. It also helps that the collective experience of the attorneys on our team exceeds 100 years. To speak to a lawyer with the know-how to help you contact our office. Lawyers are available for free consultations 24/7.
Middlesex County Theft of Services Offense
The law that applies to your theft of services offense is N.J.S.A. 2C:20-8. This law extensive although the thrust of all its provisions is to make it a crime to purposely obtain services which he/she knows are only available for compensation. This prohibition specifically extends to use of deception, token, slug, diversion or device to obtain services without compensation. The term “services” is defined in 2C:20-8 to include “labor or professional service; transportation, telephone, telecommunications, electric, water, gas, cable television, or other public service; accommodation in hotels, restaurants or elsewhere; entertainment; admission to exhibitions; use of vehicles or other movable property.”
Elements of a Theft of Service Violation
There are five elements to a theft of services offense, including: (1) the defendant obtained services; (2) that were available only for compensation; (3) the defendant knew that the services were available only for compensation; (4) the defendant obtained the services by deception, threats or some other fraudulent means; and (5) the defendant purposely obtained the services by means of deception, threat or other means to avoid payment.
Grading & Penalties for Theft of Services
The severity of a theft of services charge is predicated primarily on the value of the services stolen. If the value if less than $200 then the violation results in a disorderly persons offense. This grade of offense falls within municipal court jurisdiction. If the theft involves services with a value of at least $200 but less than $500, then it results in a fourth degree crime and a prison term of up to 18 months and fine that can reach $10,000. Third degree theft of services arises when the services stolen have a value of at least $500 but less than $75,000. The penalties for this category of theft of services includes 3-5 years in prison and a maximum fine of $15,000. A second degree crime results when the offense involves $75,000 or more in stolen services. The penalties for second degree theft of services include 5-10 years in prison and a fine of up to $150,000. Restitution is also always a component of sentencing irrespective of which of the aforesaid grades an offense falls under.
New Brunswick NJ Theft of Services Defense Attorney
Most theft of services charges in Middlesex County are dealt with in New Brunswick. The reason is because this is the location of the Middlesex County Superior Court which has jurisdiction over all fourth degree, third degree and second degree theft of services charges. Our New Brunswick Office is located adjacent to the courthouse and we also employ former prosecutors who have worked in this venue for years. Whether your case arose in North Brunswick, Metuchen, Old Bridge, Monroe, Highland Park or another municipality, the attorneys on our staff clearly know what it takes to navigate the court system effectively on your behalf. To speak to a defense attorney about your theft of cable, gas, electric, tolls, a rental car or another service, call us at 732-246-7126 for a free consultation. A lawyer from the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is ready 24/7 to assist you.
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