New Jersey Theft and Embezzlement Defense Lawyers
Aggressive Criminal Defense Lawyers Relentlessly Fight to Protect Clients’ Rights in Cases Involving Theft and Embezzlement Charges in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, Bergen County and Somerset County, NJ
Crimes involving theft and embezzlement are taken seriously in New Jersey and can result in prison, monetary fines and restitution to the victims of the crime. In reality, embezzlement is a form of theft committed under circumstances where the defendant had some type of right to make use of property or funds. To convict on embezzlement charges, the prosecution must show that instead of using or conveying the property for the intended purpose, the defendant stole the funds or property by diverting them for personal use. Regardless of whether you are facing theft or embezzlement charges in North Jersey, a conviction can destroy your professional reputation in addition to the imposition of a substantial prison term.
In New Jersey, the criminal charges governing theft crimes are as varied as the circumstances giving rise to the theft. In addition to embezzlement, applicable theft offenses may include theft of services, theft via credit card fraud, identity theft and even theft accomplished via securities fraud. At Zegas Law, our skilled theft and embezzlement defense lawyers have the proven track record of success that you should look for when choosing your defense lawyer. We have successfully defended hundreds of clients accused of committing theft and embezzlement crimes over the years and will put that experience to work in your specific case. To learn more about your options if you are under investigation or have been charged with a theft crime or embezzlement in North Jersey, call or contact our office today.
Valuation Important in Evaluating the Potential Penalties for Theft and Embezzlement in NJ
As with many other crimes, the potential penalties that can apply upon conviction for theft or embezzlement in North Jersey depend upon the value of the property or money involved in the alleged crime. If convicted for theft or embezzlement, you could face:
- Five to ten years in prison if the property is valued at $75,000 or more (second-degree felony charges),
- Three to five years in prison for property valued at between $50,000 and $75,000 (third-degree felony charges),
- 18 months in prison for property valued at between $200 and $50,0000 (fourth-degree felony charges), or
- Conviction for a disorderly persons offense carrying up to six months’ jail time if the property was valued at less than $200.
If an FDIC-insured bank was involved—for example, because the defendant was a bank employee who embezzled funds from the bank—the prison term imposed may be extended to 30 years and you may also face enhanced monetary fines totaling up to $1 million.
Theft or embezzlement charges can also be elevated to a more serious crime based upon the character of the property that is stolen. For example, if extortion is used in committing the theft, the crime will be elevated to a second-degree offense even if the value of that property does not exceed $75,000. If the embezzlement or theft was accomplished via a breach of your fiduciary duties, and the property is valued at under $50,000, third-degree charges will apply (whereas second-degree charges will apply if the value is at least $50,000).
Seasoned Defense Lawyers Dedicated to Protecting the Legal Rights of Clients Accused of Theft or Embezzlement in Essex County, Union County, Morris County, Middlesex County, Bergen County and Somerset County, NJ
At Zegas Law, we stand by our clients who have been accused of theft or embezzlement throughout the entire criminal justice process. Our lawyers will:
- Negotiate for your release from incarceration on bail if necessary,
- File all necessary discovery requests so that we can obtain and evaluate all evidence that the prosecution has gathered against you,
- Evaluate every piece of evidence, including how it was obtained, to formulate arguments for exclusion if appropriate,
- Question the value of the property that was allegedly involved with the aim of obtaining reduced charges,
- Negotiate to obtain reduced charges or even an outright dismissal if possible given the strength of the prosecution’s evidence and the strength of our exculpatory evidence,
- Work with you to ensure that you understand every available option in your case, including the availability of plea bargains and their potential consequences, so that you can make informed choices throughout the criminal process,
- Build the strongest possible defense in your case if trial becomes necessary.
Schedule a Free Consultation Today
If you have been accused of committing theft or embezzlement in Northern New Jersey, our experienced theft and embezzlement defense lawyers are here to help. We will advocate on your behalf every step of the way to ensure that your legal rights are protected as we build the strongest defense possible in your case. To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss options in your case, call or contact our office today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Theft and Embezzlement Charges
In addition to the financial penalties that are ancillary to the damage to your professional reputation, under New Jersey law you can face a significant financial penalty that depends upon the grading of the offense and, therefore, upon the value of the property stolen or embezzled. For a second-degree theft crime, your penalty will be the higher of (1) $150,000 or (2) double the value of the property involved. Third-degree theft crimes carry penalties equal to (1)15,000 or (2) double the value of the stolen property, whichever is higher. Additionally, you may be required to pay restitution to the victims of the theft or embezzlement.
In New Jersey, you can be charged with theft if the prosecution has evidence to support a claim that you intentionally deprived someone else of their property either permanently, for a period of time that causes that property to lose economic value or with the intent of only returning the property if you are somehow compensated or rewarded. Different forms of theft or embezzlement also impose different elements—for example, theft by extortion or theft by deception require a showing of the additional elements to prove that the extortion or deception took place.