Ocean County Embezzlement Attorney

A person accused of embezzlement in Ocean County, New Jersey faces a very serious criminal offense. Often considered a "white collar crime," this crime typically occurs in small businesses and in trusted relationships where one person is put in charge of money and then steals it. When a person is entrusted with that money and misappropriates it, that person may be guilty of embezzlement. Those accused of this crime need a strong criminal defense in order to protect their constitutional rights.

If you or someone you care about has been charged with embezzlement in Ocean County, New Jersey, experienced embezzlement defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is here to help.

Ocean County Embezzlement Defense Attorney

With nearly two decades of experience working in various roles in the criminal justice system, Joseph Lento is a qualified Ocean County criminal defense attorney with a comprehensive knowledge of how a New Jersey criminal case operates from start to finish, and beyond.

If you have been charged with embezzlement in Ocean County, New Jersey and need a comprehensive, customized defense, contact the attorneys at Lento Law Firm. Joseph Lento built his practice on the ideals of customer service and justice and he will fight for your rights and freedom. Call (888) 535-3686 today to schedule your consultation and discover what Joseph Lento can do to clear your name.

Ocean County Court Process

If arrested in Ocean County for a crime, your case will be scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the applicable Municipal Court. There are 35 Municipal Courts in all of Ocean County. If the case proceeds past the preliminary hearing, the case will be scheduled for a formal arraignment at the Court of Common Pleas located at

118 Washington St.
Toms River, NJ 08754

The criminal process will continue from that point forward often either resulting in the case proceeding to trial or being resolved through non-trial disposition through dismissal or plea.

Embezzlement Crimes in Ocean County

Embezzlement crimes come in many forms, some of which are codified in New Jersey Statutes 2C:20-2. These types of crime are common in smaller businesses. In fact, approximately 68% of embezzlement crimes occur within organizations that have fewer than 500 employees. The level of trust among small business owners and their employees makes the situation ripe for abuse, however, embezzlement can occur anywhere.

Embezzlement is a theft of property offense, so it is important to define "property." Property is anything with a perceived value that is either tangible or intangible. Something that cannot be physically touched, such as figures in a financial account, is just as much property as is hard cash that can be held in hand. Movable property is that which can be easily moved from one place to another without being destroyed. Immovable property is that which cannot be moved, or cannot be done without causing significant effort, cost, or harm (i.e. a house).

Embezzlement is not a separate crime under New Jersey law. Most people charged with this offense are charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking, New Jersey Statutes 2C:20-3.  The difference between typical theft and embezzlement is that the property was once legally held, but the taken without permission.

Collateral Consequences

This offense takes place from a position of trust, where the property was in the hands of a trusted individual for care. Most employers run background checks before hiring an employee, and if an employer discovers a conviction for embezzlement, the results can be disastrous for your ability to gain and maintain future employment. With the right legal defense, you can put the best case forward to protect your rights.

Grading of Theft & Embezzlement Offenses in New Jersey

In (2C:20-2) of the New Jersey statutes, the various penalties that may be imposed for theft offenses are as below.

Second Degree Offenses

  • Total value involved in the theft exceeded $75,000
  • Stolen property was acquired through means of extortion
  • Stolen property was over one kilogram of a controlled substance(s)
  • If the property was in some form of governmental benefits; perhaps related to some federal program where the total value exceeded $75,000
  • Crime was committed by a fiduciary and the value exceeded $50,000.

Third Degree Offenses

  • Total value of the theft is between $50,000 and $75,000
  • Theft that involves property such as a firearm, aircraft, horse, motor vehicle, or domestic animal
  • Stolen item was a controlled substance in a quantity of less than one kilogram; the total value may be either unknown or under $75,000
  • Property is physically taken from someone's person
  • Crime is committed by a person in a position of trust (fiduciary) and the total value is under $50,000.
  • Theft involved threats or intimidation; these actions are such that they are not classified as acts of extortion
  • Stolen property was some form of public record
  • If the stolen property is in the form of governmental benefits; perhaps related to some federal program where the total value exceeded $50,000
  • If the stolen property was intended for use involving research--regardless of the value
  • Stolen property is a blank prescription
  • Stolen property is some form of access-related device
  • Stolen property is anhydrous ammonia, a key ingredient in manufacturing methamphetamine

Fourth Degree

Total value of the property stolen ranged from $200 to $500.

Disorderly Person Offense

  • Total value of the property was under $200
  • Stolen property was a receiver for an “electronic vehicle identification system”

Penalties for Offense

Level of Criminal Offense

Maximum Incarceration

Maximum Fine

Second Degree

10 years

Up to $150,000

Third Degree

5 years

Up to $15,000

Fourth Degree

18 months

Up to $10,000

Disorderly Person Offense

6 months

Up to $1,000

Embezzlement can range from bad to much worse, so in every case it is crucial to hire an experienced defense attorney to protect your rights, your freedom, and your future.

Working with an Ocean County Embezzlement Defense Lawyer

If you have been accused of embezzlement in the Oceans County area, it is highly recommended that you begin defending your rights and your future with as soon as possible. Joseph Lento is passionate about helping charges like yours through the system and making sure justice is served on all sides.

For your consultation on how Joseph Lento and the team at Lento Law Firm can help you, call (888) 535-3686 today.

​​​Contact The Lento Law Firm Today

When it comes to criminal defense cases, you need the right person in your corner. To learn more about how Mr. Lento can help you, call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686. or contact him online.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.