Kenneth Vercammen is a Middlesex County trial attorney who has published 130 articles in national and New Jersey publications on Criminal Law and litigation topics. He was awarded the NJ State State Bar Municipal Court Practitioner of the Year. He lectures and handles criminal cases, Municipal Court, DWI, traffic and other litigation matters. He is Co Chair of the ABA Criminal Law Committee, GP and was a speaker at the ABA Annual Meeting. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us or New clients email us evenings and weekends go to www.njlaws.com/ContactKenV.htm

Kenneth Vercammen & Associates, P.C,

2053 Woodbridge Avenue,

Edison, NJ 08817,

(732) 572-0500,

www.njlaws.com

Friday, November 18, 2011

NJSA 2C:28-5 Tampering With Witnesses and Informants

NJSA 2C:28-5 Tampering With Witnesses and Informants

; Retaliation Against Them.

a. Tampering. A person commits an offense if, believing that an official proceeding or investigation is pending or about to be instituted, he knowingly attempts to induce or otherwise cause a witness or informant to:

(1) Testify or inform falsely;

(2) Withhold any testimony, information, document or thing;

(3) Elude legal process summoning him to testify or supply evidence; or

(4) Absent himself from any proceeding or investigation to which he has been legally summoned.

The offense is a crime of the second degree if the actor employs force or threat of force. Otherwise it is a crime of the third degree. Privileged communications may not be used as evidence in any prosecution for violations of paragraph (2), (3) or (4).

b. Retaliation against witness or informant. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he harms another by an unlawful act with purpose to retaliate for or on account of the service of another as a witness or informant.

c. Witness or informant taking bribe. A person commits a crime of the third degree if he solicits, accepts or agrees to accept any benefit in consideration of his doing any of the things specified in subsection a. (1) through (4) of this section.

L.1978, c.95; amended 1981,c.290,s.27; 1991,c.33,s.1.

2C:28-5.1. Witness, victim protective orders
If a court having jurisdiction under any criminal matter finds that the defendant in that criminal action or any other person connected in any way with the action has violated or is likely to violate N.J.S. 2C:28-5, N.J.S. 2C:29-3 or N.J.S. 2C:29-4 in regard to the pending offense, or that the defendant or other person has injured or intimidated or is threatening to injure or intimidate any witness in the pending offense or member of the witness' family with purpose to affect the testimony of the witness, the court may issue a protective order providing:

a. That the defendant or other person not violate any provision of N.J.S. 2C:28-5, N.J.S. 2C:29-3, or N.J.S. 2C:29-4;

b. That the defendant or other person maintain a prescribed geographic distance from any specified witness or victim;

c. That the defendant or other person have no communication with any specified witness or victim, except through an attorney under any reasonable restrictions which the court may impose.

L. 1985, c. 250, s. 1, eff. July 31, 1985.

2C:28-5.2. Penalties for violations
Any person violating any order made pursuant to section 1 of this act may be subject to any of the following penalties:

a. He may be charged with any substantive offense defined in N.J.S. 2C:28-5, N.J.S. 2C:29-3, or N.J.S. 2C:29-4 when violation of an order constitutes violation of any provision of those statutes;

b. He may be charged with contempt of the court that made the order. No finding of contempt shall be a bar to prosecution for a substantive offense; and any sentence for a conviction of contempt may be served consecutively to any sentence imposed for the underlying substantive offense. If the court does not impose a consecutive sentence, the court shall state on the record the reason for not imposing a consecutive sentence.

L. 1985, c. 250, s. 2, eff. July 31, 1985.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NJSA 2C:28-4a&b False Reports to Law Enforcement Authority

NJSA 2C:28-4a&b False Reports to Law Enforcement Authority

[a. Falsely incriminating another. A person who knowingly gives or causes to be given false information to any law enforcement officer with purpose to implicate another commits a crime of the fourth degree.

b. Fictitious reports. A person commits a disorderly persons offense if he:

(1) Reports or causes to be reported to law enforcement authorities an offense or other incident within their concern knowing that it did not occur; or

(2) Pretends to furnish or causes to be furnished such authorities with information relating to an offense or incident when he knows he has no information relating to such offense or incident.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:28-4, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.]

NJSA 2C:27-1 Bribery

NJSA 2C:27-1 Bribery

2C:27-1. Bribery

Definitions

In chapters 27 through 30, unless a different meaning plainly is required:

a. "Benefit" means gain or advantage, or anything regarded by the beneficiary as gain or advantage, including a pecuniary benefit or a benefit to any other person or entity in whose welfare he is interested;

b. "Government" includes any branch, subdivision or agency of the government of the State or any locality within it;

c. "Harm" means loss, disadvantage or injury, or anything so regarded by the person affected, including loss, disadvantage or injury to any other person or entity in whose welfare he is interested;

d. "Official proceeding" means a proceeding heard or which may be heard before any legislative, judicial, administrative or other governmental agency, arbitration proceeding, or official authorized to take evidence under oath, including any arbitrator, referee, hearing examiner, commissioner, notary or other person taking testimony or deposition in connection with any such proceeding;

e. "Party official" means a person who holds an elective or appointive post in a political party in the United States by virtue of which he directs or conducts, or participates in directing or conducting party affairs at any level of responsibility;

f. "Pecuniary benefit" is benefit in the form of money, property, commercial interests or anything else the primary significance of which is economic gain;

g. "Public servant" means any officer or employee of government, including legislators and judges, and any person participating as juror, advisor, consultant or otherwise, in performing a governmental function, but the term does not include witnesses;

h. "Administrative proceeding" means any proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, the outcome of which is required to be based on a record or documentation prescribed by law, or in which law or regulation is particularized in application to individuals;

i. "Statement" means any representation, but includes a representation of opinion, belief or other state of mind only if the representation clearly relates to state of mind apart from or in addition to any facts which are the subject of the representation.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:27-1, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 47, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:27-2. Bribery in official and political matters

A person is guilty of bribery if he directly or indirectly offers, confers or agrees to confer upon another, or solicits, accepts or agrees to accept from another:

a. Any benefit as consideration for a decision, opinion, recommendation, vote or exercise of discretion of a public servant, party official or voter on any public issue or in any public election; or

b. Any benefit as consideration for a decision, vote, recommendation or exercise of official discretion in a judicial or administrative proceeding; or

c. Any benefit as consideration for a violation of an official duty of a public servant or party official; or

d. Any benefit as consideration for the performance of official duties.

For the purposes of this section "benefit as consideration" shall be deemed to mean any benefit not authorized by law.

It is no defense to prosecution under this section that a person whom the actor sought to influence was not qualified to act in the desired way whether because he had not yet assumed office, or lacked jurisdiction, or for any other reason.

In any prosecution under this section of an actor who offered, conferred or agreed to confer, or who solicited, accepted or agreed to accept a benefit, it is no defense that he did so as a result of conduct by another constituting theft by extortion or coercion or an attempt to commit either of those crimes.

Any offense proscribed by this section is a crime of the second degree. If the benefit offered, conferred, agreed to be conferred, solicited, accepted or agreed to be accepted is of the value of $200.00 or less, any offense proscribed by this section is a crime of the third degree.

NJSA 2C:25-21d 3 Forfeiture of Weapons following Domestic Violence Complaint

NJSA 2C:25-21d 3 Forfeiture of Weapons following Domestic Violence Complaint

2C:25-21d 3 Forfeiture of weapons following domestic violence complaint

2C:25-21d 3 Forfeiture of weapons following domestic violence complaint

Arrest of alleged attacker; seizure of weapons, etc.

5. a. When a person claims to be a victim of domestic violence, and where a law enforcement officer responding to the incident finds probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred, the law enforcement officer shall arrest the person who is alleged to be the person who subjected the victim to domestic violence and shall sign a criminal complaint if:

(1)The victim exhibits signs of injury caused by an act of domestic violence;

(2)A warrant is in effect;

(3)There is probable cause to believe that the person has violated N.J.S.2C:29-9, and there is probable cause to believe that the person has been served with the order alleged to have been violated. If the victim does not have a copy of a purported order, the officer may verify the existence of an order with the appropriate law enforcement agency; or

(4)There is probable cause to believe that a weapon as defined in N.J.S.2C:39-1 has been involved in the commission of an act of domestic violence.

b.A law enforcement officer may arrest a person; or may sign a criminal complaint against that person, or may do both, where there is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed, but where none of the conditions in subsection a. of this section applies.

c. (1) As used in this section, the word "exhibits" is to be liberally construed to mean any indication that a victim has suffered bodily injury, which shall include physical pain or any impairment of physical condition. Where the victim exhibits no visible sign of injury, but states that an injury has occurred, the officer should consider other relevant factors in determining whether there is probable cause to make an arrest.

(2)In determining which party in a domestic violence incident is the victim where both parties exhibit signs of injury, the officer should consider the comparative extent of the injuries, the history of domestic violence between the parties, if any, and any other relevant factors.

(3)No victim shall be denied relief or arrested or charged under this act with an offense because the victim used reasonable force in self defense against domestic violence by an attacker.

d. (1) In addition to a law enforcement officers authority to seize any weapon that is contraband, evidence or an instrumentality of crime, a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed shall:

(a)question persons present to determine whether there are weapons on the premises; and

(b)upon observing or learning that a weapon is present on the premises, seize any weapon that the officer reasonably believes would expose the victim to a risk of serious bodily injury. If a law enforcement officer seizes any firearm pursuant to this paragraph, the officer shall also seize any firearm purchaser identification card or permit to purchase a handgun issued to the person accused of the act of domestic violence.

(2)A law enforcement officer shall deliver all weapons, firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun seized pursuant to this section to the county prosecutor and shall append an inventory of all seized items to the domestic violence report.

(3)Weapons seized in accordance with the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991", P.L.1991,c.261(C.2C:25-17 et seq.) shall be returned to the owner except upon order of the Superior Court. The prosecutor who has possession of the seized weapons may, upon notice to the owner, petition a judge of the Family Part of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, within 45 days of seizure, to obtain title to the seized weapons, or to revoke any and all permits, licenses and other authorizations for the use, possession, or ownership of such weapons pursuant to the law governing such use, possession, or ownership, or may object to the return of the weapons on such grounds as are provided for the initial rejection or later revocation of the authorizations, or on the grounds that the owner is unfit or that the owner poses a threat to the public in general or a person or persons in particular.

A hearing shall be held and a record made thereof within 45 days of the notice provided above. No formal pleading and no filing fee shall be required as a preliminary to such hearing. The hearing shall be summary in nature. Appeals from the results of the hearing shall be to the Superior Court, Appellate Division, in accordance with the law.

If the prosecutor does not institute an action within 45 days of seizure, the seized weapons shall be returned to the owner.

After the hearing the court shall order the return of the firearms, weapons and any authorization papers relating to the seized weapons to the owner if the court determines the owner is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in N.J.S.2C:58-3c. and finds that the complaint has been dismissed at the request of the complainant and the prosecutor determines that there is insufficient probable cause to indict; or if the defendant is found not guilty of the charges; or if the court determines that the domestic violence situation no longer exists.Nothing in this act shall impair the right of the State to retain evidence pending a criminal prosecution. Nor shall any provision of this act be construed to limit the authority of the State or a law enforcement officer to seize, retain or forfeit property pursuant to chapter 64 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

If, after the hearing, the court determines that the weapons are not to be returned to the owner, the court may:

(a)With respect to weapons other than firearms, order the prosecutor to dispose of the weapons if the owner does not arrange for the transfer or sale of the weapons to an appropriate person within 60 days; or

(b)Order the revocation of the owners firearms purchaser identification card or any permit, license or authorization, in which case the court shall order the owner to surrender any firearm seized and all other firearms possessed to the prosecutor and shall order the prosecutor to dispose of the firearms if the owner does not arrange for the sale of the firearms to a registered dealer of the firearms within 60 days; or

(c)Order such other relief as it may deem appropriate. When the court orders the weapons forfeited to the State or the prosecutor is required to dispose of the weapons, the prosecutor shall dispose of the property as provided in N.J.S.2C:64-6.

(4)A civil suit may be brought to enjoin a wrongful failure to return a seized firearm where the prosecutor refuses to return the weapon after receiving a written request to do so and notice of the owners intent to bring a civil action pursuant to this section. Failure of the prosecutor to comply with the provisions of this act shall entitle the prevailing party in the civil suit to reasonable costs, including attorneys fees, provided that the court finds that the prosecutor failed to act in good faith in retaining the seized weapon.

(5)No law enforcement officer or agency shall be held liable in any civil action brought by any person for failing to learn of, locate or seize a weapon pursuant to this act, or for returning a seized weapon to its owner.

NJSA 2C:25-21 Arrest of Alleged Attacker; Seizure of Weapons, etc

NJSA 2C:25-21 Arrest of Alleged Attacker; Seizure of Weapons, etc

2C:25-21 Arrest of alleged attacker; seizure of weapons, etc.

5. a. When a person claims to be a victim of domestic violence, and where a law enforcement officer responding to the incident finds probable cause to believe that domestic violence has occurred, the law enforcement officer shall arrest the person who is alleged to be the person who subjected the victim to domestic violence and shall sign a criminal complaint if:

(1)The victim exhibits signs of injury caused by an act of domestic violence;

(2)A warrant is in effect;

(3)There is probable cause to believe that the person has violated N.J.S.2C:29-9, and there is probable cause to believe that the person has been served with the order alleged to have been violated. If the victim does not have a copy of a purported order, the officer may verify the existence of an order with the appropriate law enforcement agency; or

(4)There is probable cause to believe that a weapon as defined in N.J.S.2C:39-1 has been involved in the commission of an act of domestic violence.

b.A law enforcement officer may arrest a person; or may sign a criminal complaint against that person, or may do both, where there is probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed, but where none of the conditions in subsection a. of this section applies.

c. (1) As used in this section, the word "exhibits" is to be liberally construed to mean any indication that a victim has suffered bodily injury, which shall include physical pain or any impairment of physical condition. Where the victim exhibits no visible sign of injury, but states that an injury has occurred, the officer should consider other relevant factors in determining whether there is probable cause to make an arrest.

(2)In determining which party in a domestic violence incident is the victim where both parties exhibit signs of injury, the officer should consider the comparative extent of the injuries, the history of domestic violence between the parties, if any, and any other relevant factors.

(3)No victim shall be denied relief or arrested or charged under this act with an offense because the victim used reasonable force in self defense against domestic violence by an attacker.

d. (1) In addition to a law enforcement officers authority to seize any weapon that is contraband, evidence or an instrumentality of crime, a law enforcement officer who has probable cause to believe that an act of domestic violence has been committed shall:

(a)question persons present to determine whether there are weapons on the premises; and

(b)upon observing or learning that a weapon is present on the premises, seize any weapon that the officer reasonably believes would expose the victim to a risk of serious bodily injury. If a law enforcement officer seizes any firearm pursuant to this paragraph, the officer shall also seize any firearm purchaser identification card or permit to purchase a handgun issued to the person accused of the act of domestic violence.

(2)A law enforcement officer shall deliver all weapons, firearms purchaser identification cards and permits to purchase a handgun seized pursuant to this section to the county prosecutor and shall append an inventory of all seized items to the domestic violence report.

(3)Weapons seized in accordance with the "Prevention of Domestic Violence Act of 1991", P.L.1991,c.261(C.2C:25-17 et seq.) shall be returned to the owner except upon order of the Superior Court. The prosecutor who has possession of the seized weapons may, upon notice to the owner, petition a judge of the Family Part of the Superior Court, Chancery Division, within 45 days of seizure, to obtain title to the seized weapons, or to revoke any and all permits, licenses and other authorizations for the use, possession, or ownership of such weapons pursuant to the law governing such use, possession, or ownership, or may object to the return of the weapons on such grounds as are provided for the initial rejection or later revocation of the authorizations, or on the grounds that the owner is unfit or that the owner poses a threat to the public in general or a person or persons in particular.

A hearing shall be held and a record made thereof within 45 days of the notice provided above. No formal pleading and no filing fee shall be required as a preliminary to such hearing. The hearing shall be summary in nature. Appeals from the results of the hearing shall be to the Superior Court, Appellate Division, in accordance with the law.

If the prosecutor does not institute an action within 45 days of seizure, the seized weapons shall be returned to the owner.

After the hearing the court shall order the return of the firearms, weapons and any authorization papers relating to the seized weapons to the owner if the court determines the owner is not subject to any of the disabilities set forth in N.J.S.2C:58-3c. and finds that the complaint has been dismissed at the request of the complainant and the prosecutor determines that there is insufficient probable cause to indict; or if the defendant is found not guilty of the charges; or if the court determines that the domestic violence situation no longer exists.Nothing in this act shall impair the right of the State to retain evidence pending a criminal prosecution. Nor shall any provision of this act be construed to limit the authority of the State or a law enforcement officer to seize, retain or forfeit property pursuant to chapter 64 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

If, after the hearing, the court determines that the weapons are not to be returned to the owner, the court may:

(a)With respect to weapons other than firearms, order the prosecutor to dispose of the weapons if the owner does not arrange for the transfer or sale of the weapons to an appropriate person within 60 days; or

(b)Order the revocation of the owners firearms purchaser identification card or any permit, license or authorization, in which case the court shall order the owner to surrender any firearm seized and all other firearms possessed to the prosecutor and shall order the prosecutor to dispose of the firearms if the owner does not arrange for the sale of the firearms to a registered dealer of the firearms within 60 days; or

(c)Order such other relief as it may deem appropriate. When the court orders the weapons forfeited to the State or the prosecutor is required to dispose of the weapons, the prosecutor shall dispose of the property as provided in N.J.S.2C:64-6.

(4)A civil suit may be brought to enjoin a wrongful failure to return a seized firearm where the prosecutor refuses to return the weapon after receiving a written request to do so and notice of the owners intent to bring a civil action pursuant to this section. Failure of the prosecutor to comply with the provisions of this act shall entitle the prevailing party in the civil suit to reasonable costs, including attorneys fees, provided that the court finds that the prosecutor failed to act in good faith in retaining the seized weapon.

(5)No law enforcement officer or agency shall be held liable in any civil action brought by any person for failing to learn of, locate or seize a weapon pursuant to this act, or for returning a seized weapon to its owner.

NJSA 2C:24-9 Use of 17-Year-Old or Younger to Commit Criminal Offense; Crime

NJSA 2C:24-9 Use of 17-Year-Old or Younger to Commit Criminal Offense; Crime

2C:24-9 Use of 17-year-old or younger to commit criminal offense; crime.

1. a. Except as provided in P.L.1991, c.81 (C.2C:20-17) and N.J.S.2C:35-6, any person who is at least 18 years of age who knowingly uses, solicits, directs, hires, employs or conspires with a person who is in fact 17 years of age or younger to commit a criminal offense is guilty of a crime.

b. An offense under this section constitutes a crime of the fourth degree if the underlying offense is a disorderly persons offense. Otherwise, an offense under this section shall be classified one degree higher than the underlying offense.

c. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8, a conviction under this section shall not merge with a conviction for the underlying offense. Nor shall a conviction for the underlying offense merge with a conviction under this section. Nothing contained in this act shall prohibit the court from imposing an extended term of imprisonment pursuant to 2C:43-7; nor shall this be construed to preclude or limit a prosecution or conviction of any person for conspiracy under N.J.S.2C:5-2, or any prosecution or conviction for any offense.

d.It shall be no defense to a prosecution under this act that the actor mistakenly believed that the person which the actor used, solicited, directed, hired or employed was 18 years of age or older, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable.

NJSA 2C:24-8 Abandonment, Neglect of Elderly Person, Disabled Adult; Third Degree Crime

NJSA 2C:24-8 Abandonment, Neglect of Elderly Person, Disabled Adult; Third Degree Crime

2C:24-8. Abandonment, neglect of elderly person, disabled adult; third degree crime

1. a. A person having a legal duty to care for or who has assumed continuing responsibility for the care of a person 60 years of age or older or a disabled adult, who abandons the elderly person or disabled adult or unreasonably neglects to do or fails to permit to be done any act necessary for the physical or mental health of the elderly person or disabled adult, is guilty of a crime of the third degree. For purposes of this section "abandon" means the willful desertion or forsaking of an elderly person or disabled adult.

b. A person shall not be considered to commit an offense under this section for the sole reason that he provides or permits to be provided nonmedical remedial treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical care, in accordance with the tenets and practices of the elderly person's or disabled adult's established religious tradition, to an elderly person or disabled adult to whom he has a legal duty to care for or has assumed responsibility for the care of.

c. Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this code or in any other law of this State.

L.1989,c.23,s.1; amended 1999, c.8.

NJSA 2C:24-7 Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person

NJSA 2C:24-7 Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person


A person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense when he knowingly acts in a manner likely to be injurious to the physical, mental or moral welfare of a person who is unable to care for himself because of mental disease or defect.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:24-7, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:24-8. Abandonment, neglect of elderly person, disabled adult; third degree crime
1. a. A person having a legal duty to care for or who has assumed continuing responsibility for the care of a person 60 years of age or older or a disabled adult, who abandons the elderly person or disabled adult or unreasonably neglects to do or fails to permit to be done any act necessary for the physical or mental health of the elderly person or disabled adult, is guilty of a crime of the third degree. For purposes of this section "abandon" means the willful desertion or forsaking of an elderly person or disabled adult.

b.A person shall not be considered to commit an offense under this section for the sole reason that he provides or permits to be provided nonmedical remedial treatment by spiritual means through prayer alone in lieu of medical care, in accordance with the tenets and practices of the elderly person's or disabled adult's established religious tradition, to an elderly person or disabled adult to whom he has a legal duty to care for or has assumed responsibility for the care of.

c.Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction for any other offense defined in this code or in any other law of this State.

NJSA 2C:24-4 Endangering the Welfare of Children

NJSA 2C:24-4 Endangering the Welfare of Children

[a.Any person having a legal duty for the care of a child or who has assumed responsibility for the care of a child who engages in sexual conduct which would impair or debauch the morals of the child, or who causes the child harm that would make the child an abused or neglected child as defined in R.S.9:6-1, R.S.9:6-3 and P.L.1974, c.119, s.1 (C.9:6-8.21) is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Any other person who engages in conduct or who causes harm as described in this subsection to a child under the age of 16 is guilty of a crime of the third degree. ??b. (1) As used in this subsection:

"Child" means any person under 16 years of age.

"Internet" means the international computer network of both federal and non-federal interoperable packet switched data networks.

"Prohibited sexual act" means

(a)Sexual intercourse; or

(b)Anal intercourse; or

(c)Masturbation; or

(d)Bestiality; or

(e)Sadism; or

(f)Masochism; or

(g)Fellatio; or

(h)Cunnilingus;

(i)Nudity, if depicted for the purpose of sexual stimulation or gratification of any person who may view such depiction; or

(j)Any act of sexual penetration or sexual contact as defined in N.J.S.2C:14-1.

"Reproduction" means, but is not limited to, computer generated images.

(2)(Deleted by amendment, P.L.2001, c.291).

(3)A person commits a crime of the second degree if he causes or permits a child to engage in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act if the person knows, has reason to know or intends that the prohibited act may be photographed, filmed, reproduced, or reconstructed in any manner, including on the Internet, or may be part of an exhibition or performance. If the person is a parent, guardian or other person legally charged with the care or custody of the child, the person shall be guilty of a crime of the first degree.

(4)Any person who photographs or films a child in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act or who uses any device, including a computer, to reproduce or reconstruct the image of a child in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

(5) (a) Any person who knowingly receives for the purpose of selling or who knowingly sells, procures, manufactures, gives, provides, lends, trades, mails, delivers, transfers, publishes, distributes, circulates, disseminates, presents, exhibits, advertises, offers or agrees to offer, through any means, including the Internet, any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction which depicts a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act, is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

(b)Any person who knowingly possesses or knowingly views any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction which depicts a child engaging in a prohibited sexual act or in the simulation of such an act, including on the Internet, is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

(6)For purposes of this subsection, a person who is depicted as or presents the appearance of being under the age of 16 in any photograph, film, videotape, computer program or file, video game or any other reproduction or reconstruction shall be rebuttably presumed to be under the age of 16. If the child who is depicted as engaging in, or who is caused to engage in, a prohibited sexual act or simulation of a prohibited sexual act is under the age of 16, the actor shall be strictly liable and it shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that the child was under the age of 16, nor shall it be a defense that the actor believed that the child was 16 years of age or older, even if such a mistaken belief was reasonable.

L.1978, c.95; amended 1979, c.178, s.46; 1983, c.494; 1992, c.2; 1992, c.6; 1995, c.109; 1998, c.126; 2001, c.291.]

NJSA 2C:21-7 Deceptive Business Practices

NJSA 2C:21-7 Deceptive Business Practices

2C:21-7. Deceptive business practices

A person commits an offense if in the course of business he:

a. Uses or possesses for use a false weight or measure, or any other device for falsely determining or recording any quality or quantity;

b. Sells, offers or exposes for sale, or delivers less than the represented quantity of any commodity or service;

c. Takes or attempts to take more than the represented quantity of any commodity or service when as buyer he furnishes the weight or measure;

d. Sells, offers or exposes for sale adulterated or mislabeled commodities;

e. Makes a false or misleading statement in any advertisement addressed to the public or to a substantial segment thereof for the purpose of promoting the purchase or sale of property or services;

f. Deleted by Amendment (P.L.1981, c. 290).

g. Deleted by Amendment (P.L.1981, c. 290).

h. Makes a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of obtaining property or credit; or

i. Makes a false or misleading written statement for the purpose of promoting the sale of securities, or omits information required by law to be disclosed in written documents relating to securities.

The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if subsection h. or i. is violated. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section if the defendant proves by a preponderance of the evidence that his conduct was not knowingly or recklessly deceptive.

"Adulterated" means varying from the standard of composition or quality prescribed by or pursuant to any statute providing criminal penalties for such variance, or set by established commercial usage. "Mislabeled" means varying from the standard of truth or disclosure in labeling prescribed by or pursuant to any statute providing criminal penalties for such variance, or set by established commercial usage.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:21-7, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 36A, eff. Sept. 1, 1979; L.1981, c. 290, s. 23A, eff. Sept. 24, 1981.

2C:21-7.2. Definitions

As used in this act:

a. "Advertise" means engaging in promotional activities including, but not limited to, newspaper, radio and television advertising; the distribution of fliers and circulars; and the display of window and interior signs.

b. "Food," "food product," or "food commodity" means any food, food product or food preparation, whether raw or prepared for human consumption, and whether in a solid or liquid state, including, but not limited to, any meat, meat product or meat preparation; any milk, milk product or milk preparation; and any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage.

c. "Food commodity in package form" means a food commodity put up or packaged in any manner in advance of sale in units suitable for retail sale and which is not intended for consumption at the point of manufacture.

d. "Kosher" means prepared under and maintained in strict compliance with the laws and customs of the Orthodox Jewish religion and includes foods prepared for the festival of Passover and represented to be "kosher for Passover."

L. 1988, c. 154, s. 1.

2C:21-7.3. False representation

a. A false representation prohibited by this act shall include any oral or written statement that directly or indirectly tends to deceive or otherwise lead a reasonable individual to believe that a non-kosher food or food product is kosher.

b. The presence of any non-kosher food or food product in any place of business that advertises or represents itself in any manner as selling, offering for sale, preparing or serving kosher food or food products only, is presumptive evidence that the person in possession offers the same for sale in violation of this act.

c. It shall be a complete defense to a prosecution under this act that the defendant relied in good faith upon the representations of a slaughterhouse, manufacturer, processor, packer or distributor, or any person or organization which certifies or represents any food or food product at issue to be kosher, kosher for Passover, or as having been prepared under or sanctioned by Orthodox Jewish religious requirements.

L. 1988, c. 154, s. 2.

NJSA 2C:21-2 Criminal Simulation

NJSA 2C:21-2 Criminal Simulation

2C:21-2. Criminal simulation

A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, with purpose to defraud anyone or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud to be perpetrated by anyone, he makes, alters or utters any object so that it appears to have value because of antiquity, rarity, source, or authorship which it does not possess.

NJSA 2C:21-1 Forgery and Related Offenses

NJSA 2C:21-1 Forgery and Related Offenses

a.Forgery. A person is guilty of forgery if, with purpose to defraud or injure anyone, or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud or injury to be perpetrated by anyone, the actor:

(1)Alters or changes any writing of another without his authorization;

(2)Makes, completes, executes, authenticates, issues or transfers any writing so that it purports to be the act of another who did not authorize that act or of a fictitious person, or to have been executed at a time or place or in a numbered sequence other than was in fact the case, or to be a copy of an original when no such original existed; or

(3)Utters any writing which he knows to be forged in a manner specified in paragraph (1) or (2).

"Writing" includes printing or any other method of recording information, money, coins, tokens, stamps, seals, credit cards, badges, trademarks, access devices, and other symbols of value, right, privilege, or identification, including retail sales receipts, universal product code (UPC) labels and checks. This section shall apply without limitation to forged, copied or imitated checks.

As used in this section, "information" includes, but is not limited to, personal identifying information as defined in subsection v. of N.J.S.2C:20-1.

b.Grading of forgery. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be part of an issue of money, securities, postage or revenue stamps, or other instruments, certificates or licenses issued by the government, New Jersey Prescription Blanks as referred to in R.S.45:14-14, or part of an issue of stock, bonds or other instruments representing interest in or claims against any property or enterprise, personal identifying information or an access device. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be a check. Forgery is a crime of the third degree if the writing is or purports to be 15 or more forged or altered retail sales receipts or universal product code labels.

Otherwise forgery is a crime of the fourth degree.

c.Possession of forgery devices. A person is guilty of possession of forgery devices, a crime of the third degree, when with purpose to use, or to aid or permit another to use the same for purposes of forging written instruments, including access devices and personal identifying information, he makes or possesses any device, apparatus, equipment, computer, computer equipment, computer software or article specially designed or adapted to such use.

L.1978, c.95; amended 1981, c.290, s.20; 1996, c.154, s.10; 1997, c.6, s.5; 2001, c.110, s.1; 2002, c.85, s.2.

2C:21-2. Criminal simulation
A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, with purpose to defraud anyone or with knowledge that he is facilitating a fraud to be perpetrated by anyone, he makes, alters or utters any object so that it appears to have value because of antiquity, rarity, source, or authorship which it does not possess.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:21-2, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:21-2.1 Offenses involving false government documents, degree of crime.

1. a. A person who knowingly sells, offers or exposes for sale, or otherwise transfers, or possesses with the intent to sell, offer or expose for sale, or otherwise transfer, a document, printed form or other writing which falsely purports to be a driver's license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency and which could be used as a means of verifying a person's identity or age or any other personal identifying information is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

b.A person who knowingly makes, or possesses devices or materials to make, a document or other writing which falsely purports to be a driver's license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency and which could be used as a means of verifying a person's identity or age or any other personal identifying information is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

c.A person who knowingly exhibits, displays or utters a document or other writing which falsely purports to be a driver's license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency and which could be used as a means of verifying a person's identity or age or any other personal identifying information is guilty of a crime of the third degree. A violation of N.J.S.2C:28-7, constituting a disorderly persons offense, section 1 of P.L.1979, c.264 (C.2C:33-15), R.S.33:1-81 or section 6 of P.L.1968, c.313 (C.33:1-81.7) in a case where the person uses the personal identifying information of another to illegally purchase an alcoholic beverage or for using the personal identifying information of another to misrepresent his age for the purpose of obtaining tobacco or other consumer product denied to persons under 18 years of age shall not constitute an offense under this subsection if the actor received only that benefit or service and did not perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate any additional injury or fraud on another.

d.A person who knowingly possesses a document or other writing which falsely purports to be a driver's license, birth certificate or other document issued by a governmental agency and which could be used as a means of verifying a person's identity or age or any other personal identifying information is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree. A violation of N.J.S.2C:28-7, constituting a disorderly persons offense, section 1 of P.L.1979, c.264 (C.2C:33-15), R.S.33:1-81 or section 6 of P.L.1968, c.313 (C.33:1-81.7) in a case where the person uses the personal identifying information of another to illegally purchase an alcoholic beverage or for using the personal identifying information of another to misrepresent his age for the purpose of obtaining tobacco or other consumer product denied to persons under 18 years of age shall not constitute an offense under this subsection if the actor received only that benefit or service and did not perpetrate or attempt to perpetrate any additional injury or fraud on another.

e.In addition to any other disposition authorized by this Title, the provisions of section 24 of P.L.1982, c.77 (C.2A:4A-43), or any other statute indicating the dispositions that may be ordered for an adjudication of delinquency, and, notwithstanding the provisions of subsection c. of N.J.S.2C:43-2, every person convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of any offense defined in this section shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period to be fixed by the court at not less than six months or more than two years which shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed. In the case of any person who at the time of the imposition of the sentence is less than 17 years of age, the period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized herein, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period as fixed by the court of not less than six months or more than two years after the day the person reaches the age of 17 years. If the driving privilege of any person is under revocation, suspension, or postponement for a violation of any provision of this Title or Title 39 of the Revised Statutes at the time of any conviction or adjudication of delinquency for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter or chapter 36 of this Title, the revocation, suspension, or postponement period imposed herein shall commence as of the date of termination of the existing revocation, suspension or postponement.

The court before whom any person is convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a violation of any offense defined in this section shall collect forthwith the New Jersey driver's license or licenses of that person and forward the license or licenses to the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission along with a report indicating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the court is for any reason unable to collect the license or licenses of the person, the court shall cause a report of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency to be filed with the director. The report shall include the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color and sex of the person and shall indicate the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of personally operating a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension or postponement imposed pursuant to this section, the person shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S.39:3-40. A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of a violation of R.S.39:3-40. If the person is the holder of a driver's license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not collect the license, but shall notify forthwith the director who shall notify the appropriate officials in that licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, in accordance with the provisions of this section, revoke the person's non-resident driving privileges in this State.

In addition to any other condition imposed, a court, in its discretion, may suspend, revoke or postpone the driving privileges of a person admitted to supervisory treatment under N.J.S.2C:36A-1 or N.J.S.2C:43-12 without a plea of guilty or finding of guilt.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NJSA 2C:20-8 Theft of Services

NJSA 2C:20-8 Theft of Services

By Kenneth A. Vercammen, Esq. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result for someone charged with theft. Our office represents people charged with crimes. We provide representation throughout New Jersey. Criminal charges can cost you. If convicted, you can face prison, fines, jail, probation over 18 months, and other penalties. Don't give up! Our Law Office can provide experienced attorney representation for criminal violations. Our website njlaws.com provides information on criminal cases. New Jersey does not call serious theft offenses "felonies." Instead, they are called "crimes." The following is the NJ law on 2C:20-8. Theft of Services. a. A person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains services which he knows are available only for compensation, by deception or threat, or by false token, slug, or other means, including but not limited to mechanical or electronic devices or through fraudulent statements, to avoid payment for the service. "Services" include labor or professional service; transportation, telephone, telecommunications, electric, water, gas, cable television, or other public service; accommodation in hotels, restaurants or elsewhere; entertainment; admission to exhibitions; use of vehicles or other movable property. Where compensation for service is ordinarily paid immediately upon the rendering of such service, as in the case of hotels and restaurants, absconding without payment or offer to pay gives rise to a presumption that the service was obtained by deception as to intention to pay. b. A person commits theft if, having control over the disposition of services of another, to which he is not entitled, he knowingly diverts such services to his own benefit or to the benefit of another not entitled thereto. c. Any person who, without permission and for the purpose of obtaining electric current, gas or water with intent to defraud any vendor of electricity, gas or water or a person who is furnished by a vendor with electric current, gas or water: (1) Connects or causes to be connected by wire or any other device with the wires, cables or conductors of any such vendor or any other person; or (2) Connects or disconnects the meters, pipes or conduits of such vendor or any other person or in any other manner tampers or interferes with such meters, pipes or conduits, or connects with such meters, pipes or conduits by pipes, conduits or other instruments--is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. The existence of any of the conditions with reference to meters, pipes, conduits or attachments, described in this subsection, is presumptive evidence that the person to whom gas, electricity or water is at the time being furnished by or through such meters, pipes, conduits or attachments has, with intent to defraud, created or caused to be created with reference to such meters, pipes, conduits or attachments, the condition so existing; provided, however, that the presumption shall not apply to any person so furnished with gas, electricity or water for less than 31 days or until there has been at least one meter reading. A violation of this subsection shall be deemed to be a continuing offense as long as the conditions described in this subsection exist. d. Any person who, without permission or authority, connects or causes to be connected by wires or other devices, any meter erected or set up for the purpose of registering or recording the amount of electric current supplied to any customer by any vendor of electricity within this State, or changes or shunts the wiring leading to or from any such meter, or by any device, appliance or means whatsoever tampers with any such meter so that the meter will not measure or record the full amount of electric current supplied to such customer, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense. The existence of any of the conditions with reference to meters or attachments described in this subsection is presumptive evidence that the person to whom electricity is at the time being furnished by or through such meters or attachments has, with intent to defraud, created or caused to be created with reference to such meters or attachments, the condition so existing; provided, however, that the presumption shall not apply to any person so furnished with electricity for less than 31 days or until there has been at least one meter reading. A violation of this subsection shall be deemed to be a continuing offense as long as the conditions described in this subsection exist. e. Any person who, with intent to obtain cable television service without payment, in whole or in part, of the lawful charges therefor, or with intent to deprive another of the lawful receipt of such service, damages, cuts, tampers with, installs, taps or makes any connection with, or who displaces, removes, injures or destroys any wire, cable, conduit, apparatus or equipment of a cable television company operating a CATV system; or who, without authority of a cable television company, intentionally prevents, obstructs or delays, by any means or contrivance, the sending, transmission, conveyance, distribution or receipt of programming material carried by equipment of the cable television company operating a CATV system, is a disorderly person. The existence of any of the conditions with reference to wires, cables, conduits, apparatus or equipment described in this subsection is presumptive evidence that the person to whom cable television service is at the time being furnished has, with intent to obtain cable television service without authorization or compensation or to otherwise defraud, created or caused to be created the condition so existing. f. Any person who purposely or knowingly manufactures, constructs, sells, offers for sale, distributes or installs any equipment, device or instrument designed or intended to facilitate the interception, decoding or receipt of any cable television service with intent to obtain such service and avoid the lawful payment of the charges therefor to the provider, in whole or in part, is a disorderly person. Any communications paraphernalia prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:64-1 et seq. g. Any person who purposely or knowingly maintains or possesses any equipment, device or instrument of the type described in subsection f. of this section or maintains or possesses any equipment, device or instrument actually used to facilitate the interception, decoding or receipt of any cable television service with intent to obtain such service and avoid the lawful payment, in whole or in part, of the charges therefor to the provider, is a disorderly person. Any communications paraphernalia prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:64-1 et seq. h. Any person who, with the intent of depriving a telephone company of its lawful charges therefor, purposely or knowingly makes use of any telecommunications service by means of the unauthorized use of any electronic or mechanical device or connection, or by the unauthorized use of billing information, or by the use of a computer, computer equipment or computer software, or by the use of misidentifying or misleading information given to a representative of the telephone company is guilty of a crime of the third degree. The existence of any of the conditions with reference to electronic or mechanical devices, computers, computer equipment or computer software described in this subsection is presumptive evidence that the person to whom telecommunications service is at the time being furnished has, with intent to obtain telecommunications service without authorization or compensation or to otherwise defraud, created or caused to be created the condition so existing. i. Any person who purposely or knowingly manufactures, constructs, sells, offers for sale, distributes, installs, or otherwise provides any service, equipment, device, computer, computer equipment, computer software or instrument designed or intended to facilitate the receipt of any telecommunications service and avoid the lawful payment of the charges therefor to the provider, in whole or in part, is guilty of a crime of the third degree. Any communications paraphernalia, computer, computer equipment or computer software prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:64-1 et seq. j. Any person who purposely or knowingly maintains or possesses any equipment, device, computer, computer equipment, computer software or instrument of the type described in subsection i. of this section, or maintains or possesses any equipment, device, computer, computer equipment, computer software or instrument actually used to facilitate the receipt of any telecommunications service with intent to obtain such service and avoid the lawful payment, in whole or in part, of the charges therefor to the provider, is guilty of a crime of the third degree. Any communications paraphernalia, computer, computer equipment or computer software prohibited under this subsection shall be subject to forfeiture and may be seized by the State or any law enforcement officer in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:64-1 et seq. k. In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, and notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, every person who violates this section shall be sentenced to make restitution to the vendor and to pay a minimum fine of $500.00 for each offense. In determining the amount of restitution, the court shall consider the costs expended by the vendor, including but not limited to the repair and replacement of damaged equipment, the cost of the services unlawfully obtained, investigation expenses, and attorney fees. l. The presumptions of evidence applicable to offenses defined in subsections c., d., e. and h. of this section shall also apply in any prosecution for theft of services brought pursuant to the provisions of subsection a. or b. of this section.

NJSA 2C:20-4 Theft by Deception

NJSA 2C:20-4 Theft by Deception

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey. The following is the law in New Jersey:

2C:20-4. Theft by deception.

A person is guilty of theft if he purposely obtains property of another by deception. A person deceives if he purposely:

a. Creates or reinforces a false impression, including false impressions as to law, value, intention or other state of mind, and including, but not limited to, a false impression that the person is soliciting or collecting funds for a charitable purpose; but deception as to a person's intention to perform a promise shall not be inferred from the fact alone that he did not subsequently perform the promise;

b. Prevents another from acquiring information which would affect his judgment of a transaction; or

c. Fails to correct a false impression which the deceiver previously created or reinforced, or which the deceiver knows to be influencing another to whom he stands in a fiduciary or confidential relationship.

The term "deceive" does not, however, include falsity as to matters having no pecuniary significance, or puffing or exaggeration by statements unlikely to deceive ordinary persons in the group addressed.

Amended 2003, c.43.

2C:20-5. Theft by extortion A person is guilty of theft by extortion if he purposely and unlawfully obtains property of another by extortion. A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;

b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;

c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;

d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;

e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;

f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another's legal claim or defense; or

g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:20-5, eff. Sept. 1, 1979. Amended by L.1979, c. 178, s. 34, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

2C:20-6. Theft of property lost, mislaid, or delivered by mistake A person who comes into control of property of another that he knows to have been lost, mislaid, or delivered under a mistake as to the nature or amount of the property or the identity of the recipient is guilty of theft if, knowing the identity of the owner and with purpose to deprive said owner thereof, he converts the property to his own use.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:20-6, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea

1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)

2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:

a. You will have a criminal record

b. You may go to Jail or Prison.

c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.

3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.

4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.

5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.

6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.

7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.

8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3

9. You could be put on Probation.

10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.

11. You may be required to do Community Service.

12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.

13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.

14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.

15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1

16. You may lose your right to vote.

The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.

Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:

If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.

NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;

(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;

(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;

(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:

a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;

(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;

b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;

(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;

If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

NJSA 2C:20-3 Theft: Unlawful Taking

NJSA 2C:20-3 Theft: Unlawful Taking

A. Movable Property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over movable property of another with the purpose to deprive him thereof.

B. Immovable Property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully transfers any interest in immovable property of another with purpose to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto.

NJSA 2C:20-17 Use of Juvenile in Theft of Automobiles, Penalty

NJSA 2C:20-17 Use of Juvenile in Theft of Automobiles, Penalty

2C:20-17. Use of juvenile in theft of automobiles, penalty

a. A person who is at least 18 years of age who knowingly uses, solicits, directs, hires or employs a person who is in fact 17 years of age or younger to commit theft of an automobile is guilty of a crime of the second degree. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8, a conviction under this section shall not merge with a conviction for theft of an automobile. Nothing contained in this act shall prohibit the court from imposing an extended term pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-7; nor shall this act be construed in any way to preclude or limit the prosecution or conviction of any person for conspiracy under N.J.S.2C:5-2, or any prosecution or conviction for any other offense.

b. It shall be no defense to a prosecution under this section that the actor mistakenly believed that the person which the actor used, solicited, directed, hired or employed was older than 17 years of age, even if such mistaken belief was reasonable.

L.1991,c.81,s.1.

NJSA 2C:20-16 Chop Shop

NJSA 2C:20-16 Chop Shop

2C:20-16. Chop Shop

Operation of facility for sale of stolen automobile parts; penalties

a. A person who knowingly maintains or operates any premises, place or facility used for the remodeling, repainting, or separating of automobile parts for resale of any stolen automobile is guilty of a crime of the second degree.

b. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, any person convicted of a violation of this section shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period to be fixed by the court at not less than three nor more than five years. The court shall cause a report of the conviction to be filed with the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles.

L.1991,c.80,s.1.

NJSA 2C:20-1 Theft

NJSA 2C:20-1 Theft

Kenneth Vercammen's Law office represents individuals charged with criminal and serious traffic violations throughout New Jersey.

2C:20-1. Definitions. In chapters 20 and 21, unless a different meaning plainly is required:

a. "Deprive" means: (1) to withhold or cause to be withheld property of another permanently or for so extended a period as to appropriate a substantial portion of its economic value, or with purpose to restore only upon payment of reward or other compensation; or (2) to dispose or cause disposal of the property so as to make it unlikely that the owner will recover it.

b. "Fiduciary" means an executor, general administrator of an intestate, administrator with the will annexed, substituted administrator, guardian, substituted guardian, trustee under any trust, express, implied, resulting or constructive, substituted trustee, executor, conservator, curator, receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, assignee for the benefit of creditors, partner, agent or officer of a corporation, public or private, temporary administrator, administrator, administrator pendente lite, administrator ad prosequendum, administrator ad litem or other person acting in a similar capacity.

c. "Financial institution" means a bank, insurance company, credit union, savings and loan association, investment trust or other organization held out to the public as a place of deposit of funds or medium of savings or collective investment.

d. "Government" means the United States, any state, county, municipality, or other political unit, or any department, agency or subdivision of any of the foregoing, or any corporation or other association carrying out the functions of government.

e. "Movable property" means property the location of which can be changed, including things growing on, affixed to, or found in land, and documents, although the rights represented thereby have no physical location. "Immovable property" is all other property.

f. "Obtain" means: (1) in relation to property, to bring about a transfer or purported transfer of a legal interest in the property, whether to the obtainer or another; or (2) in relation to labor or service, to secure performance thereof.

g. "Property" means anything of value, including real estate, tangible and intangible personal property, trade secrets, contract rights, choses in action and other interests in or claims to wealth, admission or transportation tickets, captured or domestic animals, food and drink, electric, gas, steam or other power, financial instruments, information, data, and computer software, in either human readable or computer readable form, copies or originals.

h. "Property of another" includes property in which any person other than the actor has an interest which the actor is not privileged to infringe, regardless of the fact that the actor also has an interest in the property and regardless of the fact that the other person might be precluded from civil recovery because the property was used in an unlawful transaction or was subject to forfeiture as contraband. Property in possession of the actor shall not be deemed property of another who has only a security interest therein, even if legal title is in the creditor pursuant to a conditional sales contract or other security agreement.

i. "Trade secret" means the whole or any portion or phase of any scientific or technical information, design, process, procedure, formula or improvement which is secret and of value. A trade secret shall be presumed to be secret when the owner thereof takes measures to prevent it from becoming available to persons other than those selected by the owner to have access thereto for limited purposes.

j. "Dealer in property" means a person who buys and sells property as a business.

k. "Traffic" means:

(1)To sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of property to another person; or

(2)To buy, receive, possess, or obtain control of or use property, with intent to sell, transfer, distribute, dispense or otherwise dispose of such property to another person.

l. "Broken succession of title" means lack of regular documents of purchase and transfer by any seller except the manufacturer of the subject property, or possession of documents of purchase and transfer by any buyer without corresponding documents of sale and transfer in possession of seller, or possession of documents of sale and transfer by seller without corresponding documents of purchase and transfer in possession of any buyer.

m. "Person" includes any individual or entity or enterprise, as defined herein, holding or capable of holding a legal or beneficial interest in property.

n. "Anything of value" means any direct or indirect gain or advantage to any person.

o. "Interest in property which has been stolen" means title or right of possession to such property.

p. "Stolen property" means property that has been the subject of any unlawful taking.

q. "Enterprise" includes any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, business trust, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact, although not a legal entity, and it includes illicit as well as licit enterprises and governmental as well as other entities.

r. "Attorney General" includes the Attorney General of New Jersey, his assistants and deputies. The term shall also include a county prosecutor or his designated assistant prosecutor, if a county prosecutor is expressly authorized in writing by the Attorney General to carry out the powers conferred on the Attorney General by this chapter.

s. "Access device" means property consisting of any telephone calling card number, credit card number, account number, mobile identification number, electronic serial number, personal identification number, or any other data intended to control or limit access to telecommunications or other computer networks in either human readable or computer readable form, either copy or original, that can be used to obtain telephone service.

t. "Defaced access device" means any access device, in either human readable or computer readable form, either copy or original, which has been removed, erased, defaced, altered, destroyed, covered or otherwise changed in any manner from its original configuration.

u. "Domestic companion animal" means any animal commonly referred to as a pet or one that has been bought, bred, raised or otherwise acquired, in accordance with local ordinances and State and federal law for the primary purpose of providing companionship to the owner, rather than for business or agricultural purposes.

v. "Personal identifying information" means any name, number or other information that may be used, alone or in conjunction with any other information, to identify a specific individual and includes, but is not limited to, the name, address, telephone number, date of birth, social security number, official State issued identification number, employer or taxpayer number, place of employment, employee identification number, demand deposit account number, savings account number, credit card number, mother's maiden name, unique biometric data, such as fingerprint, voice print, retina or iris image or other unique physical representation, or unique electronic identification number, address or routing code of the individual.

Amended 1981, c.167, s.5; 1984, c.184, s.1; 1997, c.6, s.1; 1998, c.100, s.1; 2002, c.85, s.1.

2C:20-1.1. Offense involving access device; presumption of unlawful purpose

6. In any prosecution for an offense enumerated in chapter 20 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes involving a defaced access device, any removal, erasure, defacement, alteration, destruction, covering or other change in such access device from its original configuration performed by any person other than an authorized manufacturer of, or service provider to access devices shall be presumed to be for an unlawful purpose.

L.1997, c.6, s.6.

2C:20-2 Consolidation of theft offenses; grading; provisions applicable to theft generally.

2C:20-2. Consolidation of Theft Offenses; Grading; Provisions Applicable to Theft Generally.

a. Consolidation of Theft and Computer Criminal Activity Offenses. Conduct denominated theft or computer criminal activity in this chapter constitutes a single offense, but each episode or transaction may be the subject of a separate prosecution and conviction. A charge of theft or computer criminal activity may be supported by evidence that it was committed in any manner that would be theft or computer criminal activity under this chapter, notwithstanding the specification of a different manner in the indictment or accusation, subject only to the power of the court to ensure fair trial by granting a bill of particulars, discovery, a continuance, or other appropriate relief where the conduct of the defense would be prejudiced by lack of fair notice or by surprise.

b. Grading of theft offenses.

(1)Theft constitutes a crime of the second degree if:

(a)The amount involved is $75,000.00 or more;

(b)The property is taken by extortion;

(c)The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as defined in N.J.S. 2C:35-2 and the quantity is in excess of one kilogram;

(d)The property stolen is a person's benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source, which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the person's health care and the amount involved is $75,000 or more; or

(e)The property stolen is human remains or any part thereof.

(2)Theft constitutes a crime of the third degree if:

(a)The amount involved exceeds $500.00 but is less than $75,000.00;

(b)The property stolen is a firearm, motor vehicle, vessel, boat, horse, domestic companion animal or airplane;

(c)The property stolen is a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog as defined in N.J.S. 2C:35-2 and the amount involved is less than $75,000.00 or is undetermined and the quantity is one kilogram or less;

(d)It is from the person of the victim;

(e)It is in breach of an obligation by a person in his capacity as a fiduciary;

(f)It is by threat not amounting to extortion;

(g)It is of a public record, writing or instrument kept, filed or deposited according to law with or in the keeping of any public office or public servant;

(h)The property stolen is a person's benefits under federal or State law, or from any other source, which the Department of Human Services or an agency acting on its behalf has budgeted for the person's health care and the amount involved is less than $75,000;

(i)The property stolen is any real or personal property related to, necessary for, or derived from research, regardless of value, including, but not limited to, any sample, specimens and components thereof, research subject, including any warm-blooded or cold-blooded animals being used for research or intended for use in research, supplies, records, data or test results, prototypes or equipment, as well as any proprietary information or other type of information related to research;

(j)The property stolen is a New Jersey Prescription Blank as referred to in R.S. 45:14-14; or

(k)The property stolen consists of an access device or a defaced access device.

(3)Theft constitutes a crime of the fourth degree if the amount involved is at least $200.00 but does not exceed $500.00. If the amount involved was less than $200.00 the offense constitutes a disorderly persons offense.

(4)The amount involved in a theft or computer criminal activity shall be determined by the trier of fact. The amount shall include, but shall not be limited to, the amount of any State tax avoided, evaded or otherwise unpaid, improperly retained or disposed of. Amounts involved in thefts or computer criminal activities committed pursuant to one scheme or course of conduct, whether from the same person or several persons, may be aggregated in determining the grade of the offense.

c. Claim of right. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for theft that the actor:

(1)Was unaware that the property or service was that of another;

(2)Acted under an honest claim of right to the property or service involved or that he had a right to acquire or dispose of it as he did; or

(3)Took property exposed for sale, intending to purchase and pay for it promptly, or reasonably believing that the owner, if present, would have consented.

d. Theft from spouse. It is no defense that theft or computer criminal activity was from or committed against the actor's spouse, except that misappropriation of household and personal effects, or other property normally accessible to both spouses, is theft or computer criminal activity only if it occurs after the parties have ceased living together.

Amended 1979, c.178, s.33; 1981, c.167, s.6; 1987, c.76, s.31; 1987, c.106, s.5; 1993, c.219, s.3; 1993, c.363; 1995, c.20, s.5; 1996, c.154, s.9; 1997, c.6, s.2; 1998, c.100, s.2; 1999, c.95, s.2; 2003, c.39, s.7.

2C:20-2.1. Additional penalties for theft or unlawful taking of motor vehicle 1. a. In addition to any other disposition authorized by law, a person convicted under the provisions of this chapter of theft or unlawful taking of a motor vehicle shall be subject:

(1) For the first offense, to a penalty of $500.00 and to the suspension or postponement of the person's license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of one year.

(2) For a second offense, to a penalty of $750.00 and to the suspension or postponement of the person's license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of two years.

(3) For a third or subsequent offense, to a penalty of $1,000.00, and to the suspension or postponement of the person's license to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for 10 years.

b. The suspension or postponement of the person's license to operate a motor vehicle pursuant to subsection a. of this section shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed. In the case of any person who at the time of the imposition of sentence is less than 17 years of age, the period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized herein, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period as fixed by the court of one year for a first offense, two years for a second offense or 10 years for a third offense calculated from the day after the day the person reaches the age of 17 years. If the driving privilege of any person is under revocation, suspension, or postponement for a violation of any provision of this Title or Title 39 of the Revised Statutes at the time of any conviction or adjudication of delinquency for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter or chapter 36 of this Title, the revocation, suspension, or postponement period imposed herein shall commence as of the date of termination of the existing revocation, suspension, or postponement.

Upon conviction the court shall collect forthwith the New Jersey driver's licenses of the person and forward such license or licenses to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles along with a report indicating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the court is for any reason unable to collect the license or licenses of the person, the court shall cause a report of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency to be filed with the director. That report shall include the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person and shall indicate the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of personally operating a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension or postponement imposed pursuant to this section the person shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S. 39:3-40. A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of a violation of R.S. 39:3-40. If the person is the holder of a driver's license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify the director who shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, in accordance with the provisions of this section, revoke the person's non-resident driving privileges in this State.

c. All penalties provided for in this section shall be collected as provided for the collection of fines and restitutions in section 3 of P.L. 1979, c.396 (C. 2C: 46-4), and shall be distributed in accordance with the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:64-6 as if the collected monies were the proceeds of property forfeited pursuant to the provisions of chapter 64. However, the distributed monies are to be used for law enforcement activities related to auto theft.

L.1991, c.83, s.1; amended 1993, c.219, s.4.

2C:20-2.2. Additional fine for auto theft Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:43-3, if the fair market value of the automobile and its contents at the time it was stolen exceeds $7,500.00 and the automobile is not recovered, the court may sentence the defendant to pay a fine for that higher amount.

L.1991, c.83, s.2.

2C:20-3. Theft by unlawful taking or disposition a. Movable property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully takes, or exercises unlawful control over, movable property of another with purpose to deprive him thereof.

b. Immovable property. A person is guilty of theft if he unlawfully transfers any interest in immovable property of another with purpose to benefit himself or another not entitled thereto.

L.1978, c. 95, s. 2C:20-3, eff. Sept. 1, 1979.

Consequences of a Criminal Guilty Plea

1. You will have to appear in open court and tell the judge what you did that makes you guilty of the particular offense(s)

2. Do you understand that if you plead guilty:

a. You will have a criminal record

b. You may go to Jail or Prison.

c. You will have to pay Fines and Court Costs.

3. If you are on Probation, you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. If you violate Probation, you often go to jail.

4. In indictable matters, you will be required to provide a DNA sample, which could be used by law enforcement for the investigation of criminal activity, and pay for the cost of testing.

5. You must pay restitution if the court finds there is a victim who has suffered a loss and if the court finds that you are able or will be able in the future to pay restitution.

6. If you are a public office holder or employee, you can be required to forfeit your office or job by virtue of your plea of guilty.

7. If you are not a United States citizen or national, you may be deported by virtue of your plea of guilty.

8. You must wait 5-10 years to expunge a first offense. 2C:52-3

9. You could be put on Probation.

10. In Drug Cases, a mandatory DEDR penalty of $500-$1,000, and lose your driver's license for 6 months - 2years. You must pay a Law Enforcement Officers Training and Equipment Fund penalty of $30.

11. You may be required to do Community Service.

12. You must pay a minimum Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment of $50 ($100 minimum if you are convicted of a crime of violence) for each count to which you plead guilty.

13. You must pay a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment for each conviction.

14. If you are being sentenced to probation, you must pay a fee of up to $25 per month for the term of probation.

15. You lose the presumption against incarceration in future cases. 2C:44-1

16. You may lose your right to vote.

The defense of a person charged with a criminal offense is not impossible. There are a number of viable defenses and arguments which can be pursued to achieve a successful result. Advocacy, commitment, and persistence are essential to defending a client accused of a criminal offense.

Jail for Crimes and Disorderly Conduct:

If someone pleads Guilty or is found Guilty of a criminal offense, the following is the statutory Prison/Jail terms.

NJSA 2C: 43-8 (1) In the case of a crime of the first degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between 10 years and 20 years;

(2) In the case of a crime of the second degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between five years and 10 years;

(3) In the case of a crime of the third degree, for a specific term of years which shall be fixed by the court and shall be between three years and five years;

(4) In the case of a crime of the fourth degree, for a specific term which shall be fixed by the court and shall not exceed 18 months.

2C:43-3 Fines have been increased recently! 2C:43-3. Fines and Restitutions. A person who has been convicted of an offense may be sentenced to pay a fine, to make restitution, or both, such fine not to exceed:

a. (1) $200,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the first degree;

(2) $150,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the second degree;

b. (1) $15,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the third degree;

(2) $10,000.00 when the conviction is of a crime of the fourth degree;

c. $1,000.00, when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense;

d. $500.00, when the conviction is of a petty disorderly persons offense;

If facing any criminal charge, retain an experienced attorney immediately to determine you rights and obligations to the court. Current criminal charge researched by Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. 732-572-0500

NJSA 2C:2-9 Duress

NJSA 2C:2-9 Duress

2C:2-9. Duress


2C:2-9. Duress
a. Subject to subsection b. of this section, it is an affirmative defense that the actor engaged in the conduct charged to constitute an offense because he was coerced to do so by the use of, or a threat to use, unlawful force against his person or the person of another, which a person of reasonable firmness in his situation would have been unable to resist.

b. The defense provided by this section is unavailable if the actor recklessly placed himself in a situation in which it was probable that he would be subjected to duress. The defense is also unavailable if he was criminally negligent in placing himself in such a situation, whenever criminal negligence suffices to establish culpability for the offense charged. In a prosecution for murder, the defense is only available to reduce the degree of the crime to manslaughter.

c. It is not a defense that a woman acted on the command of her husband, unless she acted under such coercion as would establish a defense under this section. The presumption that a woman, acting in the presence of her husband, is coerced is abolished

NJSA 2C:2-8 Intoxication

NJSA 2C:2-8 Intoxication

2C:2-8. Intoxication


2C:2-8. Intoxication
a. Except as provided in subsection d. of this section, intoxication of the actor is not a defense unless it negatives an element of the offense.

b. When recklessness establishes an element of the offense, if the actor, due to self-induced intoxication, is unaware of a risk of which he would have been aware had he been sober, such unawareness is immaterial.

c. Intoxication does not, in itself, constitute mental disease within the meaning of chapter 4.

d. Intoxication which (1) is not self-induced or (2) is pathological is an affirmative defense if by reason of such intoxication the actor at the time of his conduct did not know the nature and quality of the act he was doing, or if he did know it, that he did not know what he was doing was wrong. Intoxication under this subsection must be proved by clear and convincing evidence.

e. Definitions. In this section unless a different meaning plainly is required:

(1) "Intoxication" means a disturbance of mental or physical capacities resulting from the introduction of substances into the body;

(2) "Self-induced intoxication" means intoxication caused by substances which the actor knowingly introduces into his body, the tendency of which to cause intoxication he knows or ought to know, unless he introduces them pursuant to medical advice or under such circumstances as would afford a defense to a charge of crime;

(3) "Pathological intoxication" means intoxication grossly excessive in degree, given the amount of the intoxicant, to which the actor does not know he is susceptible.

NJSA 2C:2-7 Liability of Corporations and Persons Acting, or Under a Duty to Act, in Their Behalf

NJSA 2C:2-7 Liability of Corporations and Persons Acting, or Under a Duty to Act, in Their Behalf

2C:2-7. Liability of corporations and persons acting, or under a duty to act, in their behalf


2C:2-7. Liability of corporations and persons acting, or under a duty to act, in their behalf
a. A corporation may be convicted of the commission of an offense if:

(1) The conduct constituting the offense is engaged in by an agent of the corporation while acting within the scope of his employment and in behalf of the corporation unless the offense is one defined by a statute which indicates a legislative purpose not to impose criminal liability on corporations. If the law governing the offense designates the agents for whose conduct the corporation is accountable or the circumstances under which it is accountable, such provisions shall apply;

(2) The offense consists of an omission to discharge a specific duty of affirmative performance imposed on corporations by law; or

(3) The conduct constituting the offense is engaged in, authorized, solicited, requested, commanded, or recklessly tolerated by the board of directors or by a high managerial agent acting within the scope of his employment and in behalf of the corporation.

b. As used in this section:

(1) "Corporation" does not include an entity organized as or by a governmental agency for the execution of a governmental program;

(2) "Agent" means any director, officer, servant, employee or other person authorized to act in behalf of the corporation;

(3) "High managerial agent" means an officer of a corporation or any other agent of a corporation having duties of such responsibility that his conduct may fairly be assumed to represent the policy of the corporation.

c. In any prosecution of a corporation for the commission of an offense included within the terms of subsection a. (1) of this section, other than an offense for which absolute liability has been imposed, it shall be a defense if the defendant proves by a preponderance of evidence that the high managerial agent having supervisory responsibility over the subject matter of the offense employed due diligence to prevent its commission. This paragraph shall not apply if it is plainly inconsistent with the legislative purpose in defining the particular offense.

d. Nothing in this section imposing liability upon a corporation shall be construed as limiting the liability for an offense of an individual by reason of his being an agent of the corporation.