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2C:20-2 Theft of Movable Property

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.

Theft of Movable property 2C:20-2

If someone is criminally indicted for theft, at trial the judge will read to the jurors the following jury instructions of the law:

The following charge is to be used when the factual circumstances indicate an unlawful taking of personal property and the value of the property is in dispute. In other instances, reference must be made to 2C:20-2b to determine the degree of theft. See Charge # 2.291 on GRADATION OF THEFT OFFENSES. Note that 2C:20-2b(2) makes some offenses of the third degree regardless of the value of the property).

The indictment charges the defendant with (here read the indictment) . The statute on which the indictment is based is 2C:20-3a which reads in its pertinent part as follows:

A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises control over movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof.

(If appropriate, here define "movable property, "property" and "property of another.")

You cannot find the defendant guilty unless you determine that the State has proven the following two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, the State must prove that the defendant unlawfully took (here describe property listed in indictment). In order to prove an unlawful taking, the State need not prove that the property was carried out of the place in which it was kept, but only that it was moved or taken from its original location. If the defendant is found with the stolen property shortly after it was taken, charge the jury that it may draw an inference that the defendant took the property).

Second, the State must prove that at the time the defendant took this property (his/her) purpose was to deprive the owner of the (here describe property). With regard to the requirement of proof of a purpose to deprive another of (his/her) property, you are instructed that a person acts purposely with respect to the nature of (his/her) conduct or a result thereof if it is (his/her) conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result. In other words, in order for you to find that the defendant acted purposely, the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at the time the defendant took the property it was (his/her) conscious object to deprive (the owner) of (describe property).

(If appropriate, insert relevant portions of the following definition.) "Deprive" means

(1) to withhold (or cause to be withheld) property of another permanently or for so extended a period as to appropriate a substantial portion of its economic value...or,

(2) to dispose (or cause disposal) of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it).

Thus, if you find after a careful consideration of all of the evidence that the State has proven beyond a reasonable doubt each of the elements as I have explained them, then your verdict should be guilty.

However, if the State has not proven each of the elements described above to your satisfaction beyond a reasonable doubt, then your verdict should be not guilty.

1 N.J.S.A. 2C:20-1e - "Movable Property" means property the location of which can be changed, including things growing on, affixed to, or found in land, and documents, although the rights represented thereby have no physical location. Unless the character of the property unlawfully taken is in dispute, the Court may instruct the jury that the property so taken is "(movable) property" under the statute.

N.J.S.A. 2C:20-1g - "Property" means anything of value including real estate, tangible and intangible personal property, trade secrets, contract rights, chooses-in-action and other interests in or claims to wealth, admission or transportation tickets, captured or domestic animals, food and drink, electric, gas, steam or other power.

N.J.S.A. 2C:20-1b - "Property of Another" includes property in which any person other than the actor has an interest which the actor is not privileged to infringe, regardless of the fact that the actor also has an interest in the property....

2 See Supplementary Note to this Charge; State v. Dancyger, 29 N.J. 76 (1959).

3 When the defendant is found to be in possession of the stolen property within a short time after the theft, see supplement attached to this charge.

Theft penalties increased!

2C:20-1 Definitions.

2C:20-1. Definitions. In chapters 20 and 21, unless a different meaning plainly is required:

a."Deprive" means: (1) to withhold or cause to be withheld property of another permanently or for so extended a period as to appropriate a substantial portion of its economic value, or with purpose to restore only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or (2) to dispose or cause disposal of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it.

b."Fiduciary" means an executor, general administrator of an intestate, administrator with the will annexed, substituted administrator, guardian, substituted guardian, trustee under any trust, express, implied, resulting or constructive, substituted trustee, executor, conservator, curator, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, assignee for the benefit of creditors, partner, agent or officer of a corporation, public or private, temporary administrator, administrator, administrator pendente lite, administrator ad prosequendum, administrator ad litem or other person acting in a similar capacity.

c."Financial institution" means a bank, insurance company, credit union, savings and loan association, investment trust or other organization held out to the public as a place of deposit of funds or medium of savings or collective investment.

d."Government" means the United States, any state, county, municipality, or other political unit, or any department, agency or subdivision of any of the foregoing, or any corporation or other association carrying out the functions of government.

e."Movable property" means property the location of which can be changed, including things growing on, affixed to, or found in land, and documents, although the rights represented thereby have no physical location. "Immovable property" is all other property.

f."Obtain" means: (1) in relation to property, to bring about a transfer or purported transfer of a legal interest in the property, whether to the obtainer or another; or (2) in relation to labor or service, to secure performance thereof.

g."Property" means anything of value, including real estate, tangible and intangible personal property, trade secrets, contract rights, choses in action and other interests in or claims to wealth, admission or transportation tickets, captured or domestic animals, food and drink, electric, gas, steam or other power, financial instruments, information, data, and computer software, in either human readable or computer readable form, copies or originals.

h."Property of another" includes property in which any person other than the actor has an interest which the actor is not privileged to infringe, regardless of the fact that the actor also has an interest in the property and regardless of the fact that the other person might be precluded from civil recovery because the property was used in an unlawful transaction or was subject to forfeiture as contraband. Property in possession of the actor shall not be deemed property of another who has only a security interest therein, even if legal title is in the creditor pursuant to a conditional sales contract or other security agreement.

i."Trade secret" means the whole or any portion or phase of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula or improvement which is secret and of value. A trade secret shall be presumed to be secret when the owner thereof takes measures to prevent it from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto for limited purposes.

j."Dealer in property" means a person who buys and sells property as a business.

k."Traffic" means:

(1)To sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of property to another person; or

(2)To buy, receive, possess, or obtain control of or use property, with intent to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of such property to another person.

l."Broken succession of title" means lack of regular documents of purchase and transfer by any seller except the manufacturer of the subject property, or possession of documents of purchase and transfer by any buyer without corresponding documents of sale and transfer in possession of seller, or possession of documents of sale and transfer by seller without corresponding documents of purchase and transfer in possession of any buyer.

m."Person" includes any individual or entity or enterprise, as defined herein, holding or capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property.

n."Anything of value" means any direct or indirect gain or advantage to any person.

o."Interest in property which has been stolen" means title or right of possession to such property.

p."Stolen property" means property that has been the subject of any unlawful taking.

q."Enterprise" includes any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, business trust, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact, although not a legal entity, and it includes illicit as well as licit enterprises and governmental as well as other entities.

r."Attorney General" includes the Attorney General of New Jersey, his assistants and deputies. The term shall also include a county prosecutor or his designated assistant prosecutor, if a county prosecutor is expressly authorized in writing by the Attorney General to carry out the powers conferred on the Attorney General by this chapter.

s."Access device" means property consisting of any telephone calling card number, credit card number, account number, mobile identification number, electronic serial number, personal identification number, or any other data intended to control or limit access to telecommunications or other computer networks in either human readable or computer readable form, either copy or original, that can be used to obtain telephone service.

t."Defaced access device" means any access device, in either human readable or computer readable form, either copy or original, which has been removed, erased, defaced, altered, destroyed, covered or otherwise changed in any manner from its original configuration.

u."Domestic companion animal" means any animal commonly referred to as a pet or one that has been bought, bred, raised or otherwise acquired, in accordance with local ordinances and State and federal law for the primary purpose of providing companionship to the owner, rather than for business or agricultural purposes.

Amended 1981, c.167, s.5; 1984, c.184, s.1; 1997, c.6, s.1; 1998, c.100, s.1.

2C:20-1.1. Offense involving access device; presumption of unlawful purpose

6. In any prosecution for an offense enumerated in chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes involving a defaced access device, any removal, erasure, defacement, alteration, destruction, covering or other change in such access device from its original configuration performed by any person other than an authorized manufacturer of, or service provider to access devices shall be presumed to be for an unlawful purpose.

L.1997,c.6,s.6.

2C:20-2 Consolidation of theft offenses; grading; provisions applicable to theft generally.

2C:20-2. Consolidation of Theft Offenses; Grading; Provisions Applicable to Theft Generally. a. Consolidation of Theft Offenses. Conduct denominated theft in this chapter constitutes a single offense, but each episode or transaction may be the subject of a separate prosecution and conviction. A charge of theft may be supported by evidence that it was committed in any manner that would be theft under this chapter, notwithstanding the specification of a different manner in the indictment or accusation, subject only to the power of the court to ensure fair trial by granting a bill of particulars, discovery, a continuance, or other appropriate relief where the conduct of the defense would be prejudiced by lack of fair notice or by surprise.

b.Grading of theft offenses.

(1)Theft constitutes a crime of the second degree if:

(a)The amount involved is $75,000.00 or more;

(b)The property is taken by extortion;

(c)The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-2 and the quantity is in excess of one kilogram;

(d)The property stolen is a persons benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source, which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the persons health care and the amount involved is $75,000 or more;or

(e)The property stolen is human remains or any part thereof.

(2)Theft constitutes a crime of the third degree if:

(a)The amount involved exceeds $500.00 but is less than $75,000.00;

(b)The property stolen is a firearm, motor vehicle, vessel, boat, horse, domestic companion animal or airplane;

(c)The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as defined in N.J.S.2C:35-2 and the amount involved is less than $75,000.00 or is undetermined and the quantity is one kilogram or less;

(d)It is from the person of the victim;

(e)It is in breach of an obligation by a person in his capacity as a fiduciary;

(f)It is by threat not amounting to extortion;

(g)It is of a public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant;

(h)The property stolen is a persons benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source, which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the persons health care and the amount involved is less than $75,000;

(i)The property stolen is any real or personal property related to, necessary for, or derived from research, regardless of value, including, but not limited to, any sample, specimens and components thereof, research subject, including any warm-blooded or cold-blooded animals being used for research or intended for use in research, supplies, records, data or test results, prototypes or equipment, as well as any proprietary information or other type of information related to research;

(j)The property stolen is a New Jersey Prescription Blank as referred to in R.S.45:14-14; or

(k)The property stolen consists of an access device or a defaced access device.

(3)Theft constitutes a crime of the fourth degree if the amount involved is at least $200.00 but does not exceed $500.00. If the amount involved was less than $200.00 the offense constitutes a disorderly persons offense.

(4)The amount involved in a theft shall be determined by the trier of fact. The amount shall include, but shall not be limited to, the amount of any State tax avoided, evaded or otherwise unpaid, improperly retained or disposed of. Amounts involved in thefts committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same person or several persons, may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

c.Claim of right. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for theft that the actor:

(1)Was unaware that the property or service was that of another;

(2)Acted under an honest claim of right to the property or service involved or that he had a right to acquire or dispose of it as he did; or

(3) Took property exposed for sale, intending to purchase and pay for it promptly, or reasonably believing that the owner, if present, would have consented.

d.Theft from spouse. It is no defense that theft was from the actors spouse, except that misappropriation of household and personal effects, or other property normally accessible to both spouses, is theft only if it occurs after the parties have ceased living together.

Amended 1979, c.178, s.33; 1981, c.167, s.6; 1987, c.76, s.31; 1987, c.106, s.5; 1993, c.219, s.3; 1993, c.363; 1995, c.20, s.5; 1996, c.154, s.9; 1997, c.6, s.2; 1998, c.100, s.2; 1999, c.95, s.2.

2C:20-2.1. Additional penalties for theft or unlawful taking of motor vehicle 1. a. In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, a person convicted under the provisions of this chapter of theft or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle shall be subject:

(1) For the first offense, to a penalty of $500.00 and to the suspension or postponement of the persons license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of one year.

(2) For a second offense, to a penalty of $750.00 and to the suspension or postponement of the persons license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of two years.

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to a penalty of $1,000.00, and to the suspension or postponement of the persons license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for 10 years.

b. The suspension or postponement of the persons license to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed. In the case of any person who at the time of the imposition of sentence is less than 17 years of age, the period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized herein, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period as fixed by the court of one year for a first offense, two years for a second offense or 10 years for a third offense calculated from the day after the day the person reaches the age of 17 years. If the driving privilege of any person is under revocation, suspension, or postponement for a violation of any provision of this Title or Title 39 of the Revised Statutes at the time of any conviction or adjudication of delinquency for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter or chapter 36 of this Title, the revocation, suspension, or postponement period imposed herein shall commence as of the date of termination of the existing revocation, suspension, or postponement.

Upon conviction the court shall collect forthwith the New Jersey drivers licenses of the person and forward such license or licenses to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles along with a report indicating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the court is for any reason unable to collect the license or licenses of the person, the court shall cause a report of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency to be filed with the director. That report shall include the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person and shall indicate the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of personally operating a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension or postponement imposed pursuant to this section the person shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S.39:3-40. A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of a violation of R.S.39:3-40. If the person is the holder of a drivers license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify the director who shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, in accordance with the provisions of this section, revoke the persons non-resident driving privileges in this State.

c. All penalties provided for in this section shall be collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L.1979, c.396 (C.2C:46-4), and shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:64-6 as if the collected monies were the proceeds of property forfeited pursuant to the provisions of chapter 64. However, the distributed monies are to be used for law enforcement activities related to auto theft.

L.1991,c.83,s.1; amended 1993,c.219,s.4.

2C:20-2.2. Additional fine for auto theft Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, if the fair market value of the automobile and its contents at the time it was stolen exceeds $7,500.00 and the automobile is not recovered, the court may sentence the defendant to pay a fine for that higher amount.

L.1991,c.83,s.2.

2C:20-3. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition a. Movable property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof.

b. Immovable property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully transfers any interest in immovable property of another with purpose to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:20-3, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:20-4. Theft by deception A person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains property of another by deception. A person deceives if he purposely:

a. Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention or other state of mind; but deception as to a persons intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise;

b. Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or

c. Fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.

The term "deceive" does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:20-4, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:20-5. Theft by extortion A person is guilty of theft by extortion if he purposely and unlawfully obtains property of another by extortion. A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;

b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;

c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;

d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;

e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;

f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to anothers legal claim or defense; or

g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:20-5, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 34, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:20-6. Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake A person who comes into control of property of another that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the nature or amount of the property or the identity of the recipient is guilty of theft if, knowing the identity of the owner and with purpose to deprive said owner thereof, he converts the property to his own use.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:20-6, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:20-7. Receiving stolen property

2C:20-7. Receiving Stolen Property. a. Receiving. A person is guilty of theft if he knowingly receives or brings into this State movable property of another knowing that it has been stolen, or believing that it is probably stolen. It is an affirmative defense that the property was received with purpose to restore it to the owner. "Receiving" means acquiring possession, control or title, or lending on the security of the property.

b. Presumption of knowledge. The requisite knowledge or belief is presumed in the case of a person who:

(1) Is found in possession or control of two or more items of property stolen on two or more separate occasions; or

(2) Has received stolen property in another transaction within the year preceding the transaction charged; or

(3) Being a person in the business of buying or selling property of the sort received, acquires the property without having ascertained by reasonable inquiry that the person from whom he obtained it had a legal right to possess and dispose of it ;or

(4) Is found in possession of two or more defaced access devices.

Amended 1979, c.178, s.35; 1981, c.290, s.19; 1997, c.6, s.3.

2C:20-7.1. Fencing a. Possession of altered property. Any dealer in property who knew or should have known that the identifying features such as serial numbers and permanently affixed labels of property in his possession have been removed or altered without the consent of the manufacturer is guilty of possession of altered property. It is a defense to a prosecution under this subsection that a person lawfully possesses the usual indicia of ownership in addition to mere possession.

b. Dealing in stolen property. A person is guilty of dealing in stolen property if he traffics in, or initiates, organizes, plans, finances, directs, manages or supervises trafficking in stolen property.

c. The value of the property involved in the violation of this section shall be determined by the trier of fact. The value of the property involved in the violation of this section may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense where the acts or conduct constituting a violation were committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same person or several persons.

d. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the actor:

(1) Was unaware that the property or service was that of another;

(2) Acted under an honest claim of right to the property or service involved or that he had a right to acquire or dispose of it as he did.

e. In addition to the presumptions contained in N.J.S. 2C:20-7b. the following presumptions are available in the prosecution for a fencing offense:

(1) Proof of the purchase or sale of property at a price substantially below its fair market value, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person buying or selling the property knew that it had been stolen;

(2) Proof of the purchase or sale of property by a dealer in that property, out of the regular course of business, or without the usual indicia of ownership other than mere possession, or the property or the job lot of which it is a part was bought, received, possessed or controlled in broken succession of title, so that it cannot be traced, by appropriate documents, in unbroken succession to the manufacturer, in all cases where the regular course of business reasonably indicates records of purchase, transfer or sale, unless satisfactorily explained, gives rise to an inference that the person buying or selling the property knew that it had been stolen; and

(3) Proof that a person buying or selling property of the sort received obtained such property without having ascertained by reasonable inquiry that the person from whom he obtained it had a legal right to possess or control it gives rise to an inference that such person knew that it had been stolen.

L.1981, c. 167, s. 7, eff. June 15, 1981.

2C:20-8. Theft of services

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.

c. Any person who, without permission and for the purpose of obtaining electric current, gas or water with intent to defraud any vendor of electricity, gas or water or a person who is furnished by a vendor with electric current, gas or water:

(1) Connects or causes to be connected by wire or any other device with the wires, cables or conductors of any such vendor or any other person; or

(2) Connects or disconnects the meters, pipes or conduits of such vendor or any other person or in any other manner tampers or interferes with such meters, pipes or conduits, or connects with such meters, pipes or conduits by pipes, conduits or other instruments--is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

The existence of any of the conditions with reference to meters, pipes, conduits or attachments, described in this subsection, is presumptive evidence that the person to whom gas, electricity or water is at the time being furnished by or through such meters, pipes, conduits or attachments has, with intent to defraud, created or caused to be created with reference to such meters, pipes, conduits or attachments, the condition so existing; provided, however, that the presumption shall not apply to any person so furnished with gas, electricity or water for less than 31 days or until there has been at least one meter reading.

A violation of this subsection shall be deemed to be a continuing offense as long as the conditions described in this subsection exist.

d. Any person who, without permission or authority, connects or causes to be connected by wires or other devices, any meter erected or set up for the purpose of registering or recording the amount of electric current supplied to any customer by any vendor of electricity within this State, or changes or shunts the wiring leading to or from any such meter, or by any device, appliance or means whatsoever tampers with any such meter so that the meter will not measure or record the full amount of electric current supplied to such customer, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

The existence of any of the conditions with reference to meters or attachments described in this subsection is presumptive evidence that the person to whom electricity is at the time being furnished by or through such meters or attachments has, with intent to defraud, created or caused to be created with reference to such meters or attachments, the condition so existing; provided, however, that the presumption shall not apply to any person so furnished with electricity for less than 31 days or until there has been at least one meter reading.

A violation of this subsection shall be deemed to be a continuing offense as long as the conditions described in this subsection exist.

e. Any person who, with intent to obtain cable television service without payment, in whole or in part, of the lawful charges therefor, or with intent to deprive another of the lawful receipt of such service, damages, cuts, tampers with, installs, taps or makes any connection with, or who displaces, removes, injures or destroys any wire, cable, conduit, apparatus or equipment of a cable television company operating a CATV system; or who, without authority of a cable television company, intentionally prevents, obstructs or delays, by any means or contrivance, the sending, transmission, conveyance, distribution or receipt of programming material carried by equipment of the cable television company operating a CATV system, is a disorderly person.

The existence of any of the conditions with reference to wires, cables, conduits, apparatus or equipment described in this subsection is presumptive evidence that the person to whom cable television service is at the time being furnished has, with intent to obtain cable television service without authorization or compensation or to otherwise defraud, created or caused to be created the condition so existing.

f. Any person who purposely or knowingly manufactures, constructs, sells, offers for sale, distributes or installs any equipment, device or instrument designed or intended to facilitate the interception, decoding or receipt of any cable television service with intent to obtain such service and avoid the lawful payment of the charges therefor to the provider, in whole or in part, is a disorderly person.

Any communications paraphernalia prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:64-1 et seq.

g. Any person who purposely or knowingly maintains or possesses any equipment, device or instrument of the type described in subsection f. of this section or maintains or possesses any equipment, device or instrument actually used to facilitate the interception, decoding or receipt of any cable television service with intent to obtain such service and avoid the lawful payment, in whole or in part, of the charges therefor to the provider, is a disorderly person.

Any communications paraphernalia prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:64-1 et seq.

h. Any person who, with the intent of depriving a telephone company of its lawful charges therefor, purposely or knowingly makes use of any telecommunications service by means of the unauthorized use of any electronic or mechanical device or connection, or by the unauthorized use of billing information, or by the use of a computer, computer equipment or computer software, or by the use of misidentifying or misleading information given to a representative of the telephone company is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

The existence of any of the conditions with reference to electronic or mechanical devices, computers, computer equipment or computer software described in this subsection is presumptive evidence that the person to whom telecommunications service is at the time being furnished has, with intent to obtain telecommunications service without authorization or compensation or to otherwise defraud, created or caused to be created the condition so existing.

i. Any person who purposely or knowingly manufactures, constructs, sells, offers for sale, distributes, installs, or otherwise provides any service, equipment, device, computer, computer equipment, computer software or instrument designed or intended to facilitate the receipt of any telecommunications service and avoid the lawful payment of the charges therefor to the provider, in whole or in part, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

Any communications paraphernalia, computer, computer equipment or computer software prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:64-1 et seq.

j. Any person who purposely or knowingly maintains or possesses any equipment, device, computer, computer equipment, computer software or instrument of the type described in subsection i. of this section, or maintains or possesses any equipment, device, computer, computer equipment, computer software or instrument actually used to facilitate the receipt of any telecommunications service with intent to obtain such service and avoid the lawful payment, in whole or in part, of the charges therefor to the provider, is guilty of a crime of the third degree.

Any communications paraphernalia, computer, computer equipment or computer software prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.2C:64-1 et seq.

k. In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, and notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:43-3, every person who violates this section shall be sentenced to make restitution to the vendor and to pay a minimum fine of $500.00 for each offense. In determining the amount of restitution, the court shall consider the costs expended by the vendor, including but not limited to the repair and replacement of damaged equipment, the cost of the services unlawfully obtained, investigation expenses, and attorney fees.

l. The presumptions of evidence applicable to offenses defined in subsections c., d., e. and h. of this section shall also apply in any prosecution for theft of services brought pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. or b. of this section.

Amended 1983, c.15, s.1; 1985, c.10; 1989, c.112; 1997, c.6, s.4.

2C:20-9. Theft by failure to make required disposition of property received Theft by Failure to Make Required Disposition of Property Received. A person who purposely obtains or retains property upon agreement or subject to a known legal obligation to make specified payment or other disposition, whether from such property or its proceeds or from his own property to be reserved in equivalent amount, is guilty of theft if he deals with the property obtained as his own and fails to make the required payment or disposition. The foregoing applies notwithstanding that it may be impossible to identify particular property as belonging to the victim at the time of the actors failure to make the required payment or disposition. An officer or employee of the government or of a financial institution is presumed: (a) to know any legal obligation relevant to his criminal liability under this section, and (b) to have dealt with the property as his own if he fails to pay or account upon lawful demand, or if an audit reveals a shortage or falsification of accounts. The fact that any payment or other disposition was made with a subsequently dishonored negotiable instrument shall constitute prima facie evidence of the actors failure to make the required payment or disposition, and the trier of fact may draw a permissive inference therefrom that the actor did not intend to make the required payment or other disposition.

Amended by L. 1987, c. 76, s. 32.

2C:20-10. Unlawful taking of means of conveyance.

2C:20-10. Unlawful Taking of Means of Conveyance

a. A person commits a disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to withhold temporarily from the owner, he takes, operates, or exercises control over any means of conveyance, other than a motor vehicle, without consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent. "Means of conveyance" includes but is not limited to motor vehicles, bicycles, motorized bicycles, boats, horses, vessels, surfboards, rafts, skimobiles, airplanes, trains, trams and trailers. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under subsections a., b. and c. of this section that the actor reasonably believed that the owner or any other person authorized to give consent would have consented to the operation had he known of it.

b. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, with purpose to withhold temporarily from the owner, he takes, operates or exercises control over a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent.

c. A person commits a crime of the third degree if, with purpose to withhold temporarily from the owner, he takes, operates or exercises control over a motor vehicle without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to give consent and operates the motor vehicle in a manner that creates a risk of injury to any person or a risk of damage to property.

d. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he enters and rides in a motor vehicle knowing that the motor vehicle has been taken or is being operated without the consent of the owner or other person authorized to consent.

Amended 1979,c.178,s.35A; 1993,c.134.

2C:20-11 Shoplifting

Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea

1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)

2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:

a. You will have a criminal record

b. You may go to Jail or Prison.

c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.

3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.

4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.

5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.

6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.

7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.

8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3

9. You could be put on Probation.

10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your drivers license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.

11. You may be required to do Community Service.

12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.

13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.

14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.

15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1

16. You may lose your right to vote.

The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.

Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:

If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.

NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;

(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;

(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;

(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:

a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;

(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;

b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;

(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;

If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

   
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Kenneth Vercammens Law office represents individuals charged with criminal, drug offenses, and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. Our office helps people with traffic/ municipal court tickets including drivers charged with Driving While Intoxicated, Refusal and Driving While Suspended.

Kenneth Vercammen was the NJ State Bar Municipal Court Attorney of the Year and past president of the Middlesex County Municipal Prosecutors Association.

Criminal and Motor vehicle violations can cost you. You will have to pay fines in court or receive points on your drivers license. An accumulation of too many points, or certain moving violations may require you to pay expensive surcharges to the N.J. DMV [Division of Motor Vehicles] or have your license suspended. Dont give up! The Law Office of Kenneth Vercammen can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal motor vehicle violations.

When your job or drivers license is in jeopardy or you are facing thousands of dollars in fines, DMV surcharges and car insurance increases, you need excellent legal representation. The least expensive attorney is not always the answer. Schedule an appointment if you need experienced legal representation in a traffic/municipal court matter.

Our website www.njlaws.com provides information on traffic offenses we can be retained to represent people. Our website also provides details on jail terms for traffic violations and car insurance eligibility points. Car insurance companies increase rates or drop customers based on moving violations.

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