Official Misconduct: NJSA 2C:30-2
Monmouth County NJ Official Misconduct Defense Attorneys
Have you been charged with official misconduct in New Jersey? If so, it is strongly recommend that you contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. As you will see below, this is a very serious offense, one that tends to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. New Jersey is well known for its “corruption”, so when the prosecution concludes that someone used their position as a public servant to their personal benefit or to someones detriment, you can understand why the case tends to be prosecuted so aggressively. These types of cases tend to involve lengthy investigations and often times, the individual(s) at the center of the investigation, are aware that they are being investigated prior to the formally charges being handed down. As such, if you or a loved on finds yourself in this situation, we urge you to speak to attorney about your options prior to speaking to investigators. Official misconduct can either be a second or third degree indictable offense and to make matters worse, anyone convicted of this offense would not only be required to be sentenced to a term of incarceration but that term must be subject to a lengthy parole ineligibility period as well.
If you or a loved one has been charged with official misconduct, theft of services, theft by deception, forgery, sexual assault, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated assault or any other offense for that matter in Monmouth County, the Law Office of Proetta & Oliver can help. Our office is a Monmouth County based criminal defense firm that has been defending those accused of crimes in courts throughout the county for the better part of the last decade. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys about your options then please contact our Middletown office at 732.858.6959. One of our attorneys would be glad to sit down with you can go over the specifics of your case and give you our honest feedback on how we think we can be of assistance. Now here is some more information on official misconduct charges in New Jersey.
Charged with Official Misconduct in New Jersey
Official misconduct is a criminal offense in New Jersey that prosecutes those accused of using their position as a public servant to their benefit and/or someones detriment. More often than not, this is an additional offense added simply do to the fact of the individuals position as a public servant. For example, most individuals charged with official misconduct are also charged with underlying criminal offenses like theft by deception, forgery, theft of movable property, endangering the welfare of a child, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault. In other words, the fact that they are a public servant and used their position to commit the underlying criminal offense is what makes them eligible to be charged with official misconduct. This offense is governed by NJSA 2C:30-2 and it is broken down into two different subsections. The statute states in pertinent part:
A public servant is guilty of official misconduct when, with purpose to obtain a benefit for himself or another or to injure or to deprive another of a benefit:
a. He commits an act relating to his office but constituting an unauthorized exercise of his official functions, knowing that such act is unauthorized or he is committing such act in an unauthorized manner; or
b. He knowingly refrains from performing a duty which is imposed upon him by law or is clearly inherent in the nature of his office.
So subsection (a) seeks to prosecute those who use their position in an unauthorized manner and subsection (b) seeks to prosecute those who in essence refrain from performing a duty that is otherwise required upon them. When it comes to this offense, it is important to understand who can be prosecuted. Pursuant to NJSA 2C:30-2, the individual in question must be a public servant, which has been defined as “any officer or employee of government, including any branch, subdivision, or agency of this State or any locality within it”. Some of the most common public servants who in recent times have been charged with official misconduct include mayors, police officers, firefighters and teachers. Another important element of the offense is the “act” in question must be “relating to his/her office”. In other words, the “act” must be connected to his/her official duties. It cannot be stated that the act is not connected to a public servant’s official duties merely because a public servant performs the act. There has to be something more that connects the two. This aspect of the statute has proven to become very problematic over the years and has opened the door for viable defenses. To speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys today about the charge of official misconduct, please contact us directly at 732.858.6959.
What is the Sentence for Official Misconduct Charge in NJ?
Pursuant to NJSA 2C:30-2, official misconduct can either be a second or third degree felony offense. If the benefit obtained, or of which another is deprived of, is less than $200, then the Defendant will be charged with a third degree felony. Anything in excess of $200 will be considered a second degree felony offense. Furthermore, pursuant to NJSA 43-6.5, anyone convicted of this offense must be sentenced not only to a term of incarceration but a mandatory minimum term as well must be imposed. For a crime of the third degree, which subjects the Defendant to a potential three to five years in prison, the court must set a mandatory minimum term of two years. For a crime of the second degree, which subjects the Defendant to a potential five to ten years in prison, the court must set a mandatory minimum term of five years.
Official Misconduct Defense Lawyer in New Jersey
As you can tell, the potential penalties associated with this offense are devastating. If you have been accused of official misconduct, theft by deception, theft of movable property, endangering the welfare of a child or any other offense for that matter in Monmouth County, Proetta & Oliver can help. Our office defends those accused of crimes in courts in towns throughout Monmouth County, including Howell, Manalapan, Freehold, Holmdel, Middletown, Little Silver, Red Bank, Eatontown, Belmar, Manasquan, Brielle, Colts Neck and West Long Branch. If you would like to come in and speak to one of our Monmouth County criminal defense lawyers about your options, then please contact us directly at 732.858.6959 or you can try reaching us online.