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Theft and Fraud Lawyers in Mercer County NJ
Theft and fraud offense are very serious criminal charges and they should not be taken lightly or underestimated. If you have been arrested and charged with a theft offense like shoplifting, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, burglary or robbery, Proetta, Oliver & Fay can help. A conviction for either a theft or fraud offense in Mercer County will expose a client to potential incarceration, probation, community service, criminal record and high fines. On top of that, a conviction for any one of these offenses can also have significant collateral consequences as well. A conviction for a theft offense could make it rather difficult to either maintain or gain meaningful employment and they could also have significant immigration consequences too. As you will see below, the degree of most theft related offenses will be dictated by calculating the value of the property in question.
If you have been arrested and charged with a theft offense in Mercer County it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney. Mr. Oliver, who heads up the Mercer County practice, has been defending clients charged with burglary, theft of moveable property, carjacking, shoplifting and credit card fraud for years. Mr. Oliver’s entire career has been dedicated to defending those accused of various different criminal offenses in courts throughout New Jersey, including Mercer County. If you would like to come into our office to have an initial face to face consultation with Mr. Oliver then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible. Now here is a list of some of the offenses that our office routinely handles.
Understanding the Basics of Theft & Fraud Charges in NJ
For the most part, theft crimes are hybrid offenses. Meaning then be classified as either indicatable offense (felony) or disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanor). The value of the loss or attempted loss will dictate what degree of an offense an individual faces. Similarly, the value of the loss or attempted loss will also dictate what Court will have original jurisdiction over the charges. All indictable theft related offenses will be litigated in the Mercer County Superior Court, Criminal Division, which is located at 400 South Warren Street in Trenton. On the other hand, all disorderly persons theft offenses will be sent directly to the local municipal court for disposition. This will apply to the following offenses, theft by deception, theft of services, receiving stolen property, theft of property and theft by extortion.
Almost all fraud charges will be classified as indictable offenses regardless of the value of the loss or attempted loss. That means that all fraud charges will be transferred from the local municipal court to the superior court for litigation. That means that all identity theft, forgery, passing bad checks, obtaining CDS by fraud and credit card fraud charges will be considered felony offenses.
Depending on the facts surrounding the charges and the individual’s prior criminal history, it could be possible to convince the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office to downgrade the indictable offenses and have them remanded back as disorderly persons offenses to the local municipal court for disposition. This would be a significant benefit for an individual who otherwise would be looking at numerous years in a State Prison.
Common Theft & Fraud Charges Issued in Mercer County
- Passing Bad Checks
- Credit Card Charges
- Prescription Forgery
- Obtaining CDS by Fraud
- Bail Jumping
- Official Misconduct
- Underage Drinking
- Fake Id
How are Theft Offenses Graded in New Jersey
As touched upon above, the degree of the theft offense that a Defendant will be facing is going to be directly related to the value of items in question. Here is a quick chart that further breakdowns the different degrees and shows what the threshold amount of loss must be. This will apply to the following offenses: shoplifting, theft, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.
2nd Degree Felony = Items must be valued at more than $75,000
- 5 to 10 Years in a State Prison
- Fine up to $150,000
3rd Degree Felony = Items must be valued at more than $500 but less than $75,000
- 3 to 5 years in a State Prison
- Fine up to $15,000
4th Degree Felony = Items must be valued at more than $200 but less than $500
- Up to 18 Months in a State Prison
- Fine up to $10,000
Disorderly Persons Offense = Items must be valued at less than $200
- Up to 6 Months in the Mercer Jail
- Fine up to $1,000
Can the Police Seize My Assets for a Theft Charge in NJ?
Yes, if the police believe that certain assets or a sum of money is derived from the underlying theft or fraud charge then they will have the authority to seize those items. It is very common for law enforcement to freeze a specific bank account if they have reason to believe that it may contain illegal proceeds. But just because they seize the assets does not mean they are automatically forfeited. In order for the seized assets to be forfeited the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office would need to file a formal forfeiture motion. If that occurs the individual would have the ability to contest the forfeiture in Civil Court. That means that they would have to litigate the forfeiture motion in a separate proceeding. Typically speaking, all forfeiture motions will be stayed pending the outcome of the criminal case, as certain statements made during the forfeiture motion could be used against the individual in the criminal case.
Speak to a Trenton Defense Attorney about Fraud Case – 609-789-0779 –
The Law Offices of Proetta, Oliver & Fay serves all of Mercer County. We routinely appear in Courts throughout Mercer County, including the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Lawrence Municipal Court, the Hopewell Municipal Court, the Princeton Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court, the Hightstown Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court and the Mercer County Superior Court. If you have been charged with a criminal offense like forgery, credit card theft, passing a bad check, shoplifting, theft by deception or burglary in Mercer County then let the Law Offices of Proetta, Oliver & Fay help. If you would like an initial free consultation today, then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. We are available 24-7 to help assist in any way possible. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.