In New Jersey, the penalties for most theft crimes are related to the value of the property involved in the crime:
- Disorderly Persons Offense. If the property value is less than $200 you can be fined up to $1,000 and sentenced to up to 6 months of imprisonment.
- 4th Degree Offense. If the property value is between $200 and $500 you can be fined up to $10,000 and be sentenced for up to 18 months of imprisonment.
- 3rd Degree Offense. If the property value is over $500 but less than $75,000 you can be fined up to $15,000 and sentenced for 3-5 years of imprisonment.
- 2nd Degree Offense. If the property value is $75,000 or more, you can be fined up to $150,000 and sentenced to 5-10 years of imprisonment.
We Can Help You Understand Your Theft of Services Charge and Possible Outcomes
The law can be confusing. Even if you know what crime you are being charged with, you may not fully understand the penalties, degree of the crime, or your rights and options.
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New Jersey Theft of Services Criminal Statutes:
2C:20-8. Theft of services
a. A person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains services which he knows are available only for compensation, by deception or threat, or by false token, slug, or other means, including but not limited to mechanical or electronic devices or through fraudulent statements, to avoid payment for the service. “Services” 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. Where compensation for service is ordinarily paid immediately upon the rendering of such service, as in the case of hotels and restaurants, absconding without payment or offer to pay gives rise to a presumption that the service was obtained by deception as to intention to pay.
b. A person commits theft if, having control over the disposition of services of another, to which he is not entitled, he knowingly diverts such services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled thereto.