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Charged with Official Misconduct in New Jersey?
Have you been charged with official misconduct in Mercer County? If so, we strongly recommend that you speak to an experienced criminal defense lawyer immediately. As you will see below, this offense has rather unforgiving consequences if convicted, which includes not only mandatory incarceration but a mandatory parole ineligibility period as well. Official Misconduct in essence seeks to prosecute those that unlawfully use their position as a public servant to benefit themselves or to the detriment of another. With that being said, by its very nature, this offenses tends to be in addition to other criminal charges, like theft by deception, theft by unlawful taking, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, theft of services and endangering the welfare of a child. This only serves to increase the necessity of getting into contact with a lawyer as soon as possible.
If you or a loved one has been accused of official misconduct in Mercer County or elsewhere in New Jersey, Proetta & Oliver can help. To set up a free initial consultation today, please contact our office at 609.789.0779. One of our Mercer County criminal defense lawyers would be glad to discuss your options with you. So, if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Mercer County NJ Official Misconduct Defense Lawyer
Regardless of the underlying allegations, all Official Misconduct charges will be governed by NJSA 2C:30-2. The legislature chose to breakdown this offense into two different subsections. Subsection (a) basically seeks to cover those who commit a specific “act” and subsection (b) seeks to cover those who deliberately fail to do commit a specific “act” that was required upon them. In order to be convicted of this offense, the prosecution must prove the following elements:
- That the Defendant was a public servant;
- That the Defendant committed an act relating to their official duties; or
- That the Defendant knowingly refrained from performing an act which was imposed upon them; &
- That they did so with the underlying purpose was to benefit themselves or another or to injure or deprive another.
Pursuant to NJSA 2C:27-1, a public servant 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 examples of public servants that we see being charged with official misconduct in New Jersey include:
- Law Enforcement;
- Mayors; &
- Toll Collectors.
When it comes to defending official misconduct charges in New Jersey, one key thing to look at is did the “act” actually touch upon their official duties. Just because a public servant commits a crime, does not mean they will automatically be guilty of official misconduct. The act has to touch upon official duties.
Will I Go to Jail for an Official Misconduct Charge in New Jersey?
As touched upon above, the penalties associated with official misconduct charges can be unforgiving. Pursuant to NJSA 2C:30-2, official misconduct can either be a second or third degree indictable offense. The value of the benefit sought or obtained or of which another is deprived of will dictate what degree a Defendant is charged with. If the value is less than $200, then the Defendant will be charged with a third degree felony offense. If convicted of this degree, a Defendant will be facing anywhere from three to five years in State Prison and pursuant to NJSA 2C:43-6.5, a two year parole ineligibility period must be imposed. If the value is in excess of $200, then the Defendant will be charged with a second degree felony. If convicted of this degree, a Defendant will be facing up to ten years in prison and a five year parole ineligibility period must be imposed as well. Furthermore, more often than not, a conviction for this offense could prevent someone from ever working as a public servant again and it could also require someone to forfeit their pension.
Official Misconduct Attorney in Princeton NJ
As you can see from reading above, the penalties associated with an official misconduct conviction can be devastating to someones life. If you have been charged with official misconduct in Mercer County, in towns like Princeton, West Windsor, East Windsor, Hamilton, Robbinsville, Ewing, Lawrenceville, Trenton and Highstown. If you would like to speak to one of our attorney about your options, then please contact our office at 609-789-0779 or you can try contacting us online.