Stepping Out And Standing Up For What Is Right.

Attorney Stephen R. Piper

Camden County Criminal Defense Attorney Represents Clients Facing Fraud Or Theft Charges

If you are facing criminal fraud or theft charges in Camden County, you may know that you face significant consequences if you are convicted on your charges. As a result, it is important that you are able to put forth the best possible defense in your case. Your best chance for having an effective legal defense is to have an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney on your side. A dedicated, knowledgeable lawyer can investigate the facts of your case, advise you on the best options for resolving your charges and put together the most effective defense if you decide to go to trial.

At The Law Offices of Stephen R. Piper, LLC, I vigorously defend residents of Camden County and southern New Jersey who are charged with fraud or theft crimes. As the firm founder, I, Stephen Piper, strive to ensure that each client receives the best possible outcome in their case, whether that be a dismissal of charges, alternative disposition of charges, a plea agreement, an acquittal at trial or a conviction on lesser charges.

Types Of Fraud And Theft Charges In New Jersey

Under New Jersey law, there are numerous criminal statutes outlawing various types of fraud or theft. Most of these statutes cover theft or fraud in specific circumstances, such as “concealment of material from a library” or “operation of a facility for the sale of stolen automobile parts.” However, most fraud and theft crimes fall into one of the following broad categories:

  • Larceny: Often called “simple theft,” larceny involves the unlawful taking or use of property that belongs to another. Larceny is sometimes described as “petty theft” or “grand theft,” depending on the value of the property taken, or it may go by names like “shoplifting” or “grand theft auto,” depending on where the larceny occurs or the nature of the property stolen.
    Identity theft: Identity theft involves the use of another person’s name, bank accounts, credit cards or other personally identifiable information without that person’s knowledge or consent. In many cases, identity theft is charged as a federal crime since the act of theft often takes place over the internet and across state lines.
  • Robbery: Robbery is a form of theft that is accomplished through the use of violence, intimidation and/or threats. The offense grading or potential sentencing penalties can be increased if robbery involves the use of deadly weapons or results in physical harm to the victim(s).
  • Fraud: Fraud involves the taking of another person’s or entity’s property, when the owner gives the property over to the offender willingly but does so under false pretenses. Fraud comes in many forms, such as embezzlement (taking of property entrusted to the offender), counterfeiting (using a fake check, currency or other financial instrument) or tax evasion. Some of the most famous fraud crimes involve business schemes, such as the various “Ponzi schemes” that have been perpetrated over the decades.
  • Burglary: Although many people perceive burglary as a crime involving breaking into someone’s home or place of business to steal something, in reality, burglary is defined as the unlawful entry onto private property with the intent to commit a crime (any crime) therein. So, for example, someone who breaks into a home to assault the occupant but not to take anything can be charged with burglary.

New Jersey law grades the degree of a fraud or theft offense based on the value of the property taken. The general grading scheme prosecutors use is the following:

  • Disorderly persons offense: Up to $200
  • Fourth-degree offense: $200.01 to $500
  • Third-degree offense: $500.01 to $75,000
  • Second-degree offense: Over $75,000

Sentences for fraud or theft convictions can range from six months in jail and a fine of $1000 for a disorderly persons offense all the way up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $150,000. In addition, a defendant convicted of a fraud or theft offense may be ordered to pay the victims the monetary value of the property taken.

Dedicated Defense Attorney Fights Against Fraud And Theft Charges

If you are facing fraud or theft charges, it can feel like you are fighting your criminal charges on your own. With me on your side, that doesn’t have to be the case. As a former New Jersey prosecutor, I am well experienced in how prosecutors prepare and present fraud and theft cases at trial. As a result, I understand how to effectively counter the strategies used by prosecutors.

I will challenge each piece of the state’s evidence where possible and will put forward an effective argument at trial to ensure that the state must meet its burden of proof. However, with years of experience working in the criminal justice system, I can also help my clients explore alternatives, such as reduced charges and sentences via a plea agreement or alternative disposition of charges.

Schedule A Consultation With A Defense Attorney

If you are facing fraud or theft crime charges in Camden County or elsewhere in southern New Jersey, you need an experienced and compassionate defense attorney who will fight to protect your rights in the criminal justice process and will fight for your freedom. Call 856-333-3586 or contact my office online today to schedule a consultation, speak with a fraud and theft defense attorney about your rights and options, and learn more about how I can help you face your criminal charges.

Frequently Asked Questions About Fraud And Theft

Can I be charged with fraud or theft if I borrowed something but failed to return it?

It depends. Most fraud and theft crimes have an intent element, which requires the state to prove that you intended to deprive the owner of their property. Thus, the state will be required to prove that, by failing to return the property you borrowed, you intended to permanently deprive the owner of the property. The state may attempt to prove your intent by pointing to the length of time you had “borrowed” the property or your failure to return the borrowed property by an agreed-upon time.

What are the consequences of a fraud or theft conviction?

Like all criminal convictions, having a fraud or theft conviction on your record can have consequences that follow you for a lifetime. Having a criminal conviction can make it more difficult to obtain employment, education, housing, or credit or other financial services. In addition, you may be disqualified from applying for certain jobs, licenses or government services if you have been convicted of a “crime of moral turpitude” (or some other similar phrase), such as fraud or theft.