Theft by Deception N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4

Willingboro NJ Theft by Deception Lawyers

Theft Defense Attorneys in Burlington County, New Jersey

There are a variety of actions that constitute theft by deception under New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4. Essentially, a theft by deception offense means a person misleads, affirms a misleading impression, or fails to correct a known false impression in order to obtain money or property from another person. The act of theft typically involves taking something that doesn’t belong to you, so in a case involving theft by deception, the purpose is to obtain something of value from someone else by allowing them to believe something that you know to be false. For example, theft by deception charges can be brought against contractors who receive payment for work they never complete, people who file false insurance claims, or those who impersonate someone else to make purchases. The circumstances involved in a specific theft by deception case can vary significantly, and the penalties associated with a conviction are similarly variable. Like many other theft offenses, the estimated value of the alleged theft will determine the degree of theft by deception charges and the potential consequences. If you have been charged with theft by deception in New Jersey, it is critical to understand your charges, penalties, and the ways you may be able to have theft by deception dismissed.

Leonard Biddison is an accomplished criminal defense lawyer with over 20 years’ experience defending clients in NJ courts. His knowledge of legal nuances and skillful approach to defense has earned him recognition among the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Criminal Defense from the National Trial Lawyers Association. Mr. Biddison and his criminal defense team, which includes a former New Jersey State Trooper turned private investigator, thoroughly investigate each case to develop the most effective defense strategy. Their team represents clients in Willingboro, Edgewater Park, Westamptom, Mount Holly, Palmyra, and throughout Burlington County and New Jersey with as passion for delivering superior results. If you or a loved one is arrested for theft by deception charges, contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison in Collingswood today at 856-245-5240 for a free consultation.

Theft by Deception in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4

According to New Jersey Theft by Deception Law, found in section N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4 of the Criminal Code, 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, and including, but not limited to, a false impression that the person is soliciting or collecting funds for a charitable purpose; but deception as to a person’s 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.

Degrees of Theft by Deception Crimes in NJ

Theft by deception offenses are graded based on the value of the alleged theft. The specific thresholds for theft by deception are as follows:

  • Second Degree Theft by Deception: if the value of the theft exceeds $75,000; penalties include a prison term between 5 and 10 years
  • Third Degree Theft by Deception: if the value of the theft is between $500 and $75,000; may result in 3 to 5 years in prison
  • Fourth Degree Theft by Deception: if the value of the theft is between $200 and $500; punishable by an NJ State Prison sentence up to 18 months

Contact a Moorestown NJ Theft by Deception Attorney for a Free Consultation

If you have been accused of theft by deception, insurance fraud, identity theft, or a related offense, contact The Law Offices of Leonard Biddison anytime at (856)-427-6888 for a free consultation. Our skilled Burlington County criminal defense attorneys are happy to answer all of your questions over the phone or to schedule an appointment at our office in Collingswood, NJ.


"Phenominal, brilliant attorney!"

"Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat."

David P.

Request a Free Consultation

If you or someone you love has been charged with a criminal or DUI offense in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, finding the answers you need to make informed decisions is critical. Complete our contact form to request your free consultation or contact 856-245-5240

We are available 24/7 Nights and Weekends to Provide Free Consultations | Hablamos Español

Office Locations


900 Haddon Avenue, Suite 234

Collingswood, NJ 08108



230 S Broad Suite #1501

Philadelphia, PA 19102


Upper Darby

8234 W Chester Pike

Upper Darby, PA 19082