Public servants and public officials are ethically obligated to follow their conscience in official acts, and to pursue their roles in what they consider to be the best interest of their communities, the State of New Jersey, and their constituents. Still, politics and policy are both contentious areas, and to protect the ability of public servants to appropriately fill their role, certain protections have been placed into law.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:27-5, Retaliation for Past Official Action, it is a crime of the fourth degree to harm another through any illegal means as a form of retaliation for acts they took in office.
This charge would be added on to the other charges in the indictment, and would tack on an additional 18 month penalty to the charge for the unlawful act that harmed the public official. This is potentially very serious, as multiple felonies on an indictment can result in extensive sentences and financial penalties, even for a first-time offender.
Politics ain’t beanbag, as the saying goes, but it’s also not an area where violence or illegal conduct against public officials can be tolerated. Prosecutors – who are public officials themselves – will come after you if there’s evidence you’ve violated 2C:27-5. Call Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 for a free consultation.