Those responsible for the public good don’t only have an ethical responsibility to practice the people’s business impartially, they have a legal obligation to do so as well.
Under the statute N.J.S.A. 2C:30-2, Official Misconduct, public servants who engage in misconduct can face five to 10 years in prison and fines as high as $150,000 when they betray the public’s trust.
To be convicted, the statute requires that public servants, with purpose to derive a benefit for themselves or another, or to prevent another from receiving a benefit, commit an unauthorized exercise of official duties or otherwise act in an unauthorized manner, or fail to perform a duty required by the office they hold.
The statute is both flexible and specific, requiring elements like knowledge and intent in a public official’s conduct.
Still, as a second degree crime, it’s a high felony, and even when the value of the benefit sought or deprived is trivial, less than $200, it’s still a crime of the third degree.
Conviction at that level can lead to a sentence of three to five years and fines totaling $15,000.
Official Misconduct is a serious crime in New Jersey.
If you’ve been charged at any level under N.J.S.A. 2C:30-2, get help right away by calling Matthew Reisig today at 732-625-9661 for a free consultation.