The State of New Jersey has some pretty stiff penalties in store for public officials who misuse public resources. Under Corruption of Public Resources (N.J.S.A. 2C:27-12), those who knowingly use or make dispositions of public resources for unauthorized purposes can face significant jail time.
The statute defines two violations. When a public resource is subject to an obligation to be used to perform a particular function, Corruption of Public Resources can be prosecuted as a crime of the first degree, depending on the value of the public resource. Here’s the breakdown of potential penalties, from lowest to highest:
- Value of less than $75,000; crime of the third degree; possible sentence of three to five years and a $15,000 fine
- Value of $75,000 – $500,000; crime of the second degree; sentence between five and 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000
- Value over $500,000; crime of the first degree; prison sentence 10 years or longer; fine of $200,000.
In cases where a public resource is not subject to an obligation to be used for government purposes, the charges will graded one level lower, as follows:
- Value of less than $75,000; crime of the fourth degree; possible sentence of 18 months; fine up to $10,000
- Value of $75,000 – $500,000; crime of the third degree; sentence between three and five years; $15,000 fine
- Value over $500,000; crime of the second degree; sentence between five and 10 years and a fine of up to $150,000.
People charged with public corruption crimes in NJ are facing a situation that can cost them their career and their reputation even if they aren’t convicted. It’s vital that you get the help you need right away to protect yourself against overzealous prosecutors and the media. Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 and talk to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney for free.