Fighting Criminal Usury Charges In New Jersey
Criminal Usury, or criminal charges for lending of money at illegal rates of interest, is a crime in New Jersey, under the statute N.J.S.A. 2C:21-19(a).
The statute sets the maximum annual interest rate of loans at 30% for individuals, and even if a loan is issued for a much shorter period
than one year, the formula still applies. Criminal Usury can be prosecuted at three levels, from a misdemeanor to a high felony, so it’s critical that you get experienced legal help if you’ve been charged with a crime under 2C:21-19(a).
At the lowest grade, Criminal Usury is a disorderly persons offense. This means that you lent money or property to an individual at an annual interest rate above 30%, but less than 50%.
Conviction can lead to a six month jail sentence and fines of up to $1,000.
From there, you’re looking at felony charges. For instance, a loan made in excess of $1,000 at excessive interest rates is a crime of the third degree in New Jersey, and conviction can mean a three to five year prison sentence and fines of up to $15,000.
Any loan made to an individual with an interest rate in excess of 50% per annum can be prosecuted as a crime of the second degree, with a prison sentence of five to 10 years and fines of up to $150,000 upon conviction.
Defense Attorney For People Arrested On Criminal Usury Charges In NJ
Criminal Usury is a serious crime in New Jersey, and because it’s associated so often with organized crime, prosecutors can be trusted to come down hard on violations.
If you’ve been charged at any level under 2C:21-19(a), call Matt Reisig today at 732-385-3339 to talk to an experienced New Jersey criminal defense lawyer for free.