New Jersey Theft of Services Law

We represent clients charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:20-8; New Jersey theft of services complaints and indictments filed in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, Somerset County, Essex County, Union County, and Hudson County.

Purposely obtaining services through deception and threats is illegal.

Services include labor, professional services, transportation, telephone, telecommunications, electric, water, gas, cable, television or other public service, accommodation in hotels, restaurants, or elsewhere, entertainment, admission to exhibits, use of vehicles or other movable property.

The services must be services which could only be obtained for compensation and defendant must know that it could only be obtained for compensation.

The means which are unlawfully used to obtain these services are deception - defendant runs away from paying a hotel or restaurant - threat, false token, slug or other means including but not limited to mechanical or electronic devices or through fraudulent statements to avoid payment for the services.

State must prove that defendant's conduct was purposeful - it was defendant's purpose to obtain the services without paying compensation.

The state must prove five elements.

First, defendant obtained the services.

Second, services were available only for compensation.

Third, defendant knew that the services were available only for compensation.

Fourth, defendant obtained the services by deception, threats or some other fraudulent means.

Fifth, defendant purposely obtained the services by means of deception, threat or other means to avoid payment.

It is also an offense where one person pays for services but without his consent the services are rendered to another person.

For this offense the state must prove four elements.

First, defendant had control over disposition of services of another.

Second, defendant diverted the services to himself or another.

Third, defendant or the person to whom the services were diverted was not entitled to the services.

Fourth, the defendant knew that he diverted the services to a person who was not entitled to the services.

Theft from television or utility companies is included in this offense although they are graded as disorderly person offenses.

Upon conviction of theft of services offense the court must order the defendant to make restitution to the vendor plus a fine of $500.

If you have any questions for a NJ criminal defense attorney about a New Jersey theft of services charge, please do not hesitate to contact us.