SENATE, No. 184

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

214th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2010 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  NICHOLAS P. SCUTARI

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Upgrades offense of knowingly engaging in unauthorized practice of law.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning the unauthorized practice of law and amending P.L.1994, c.47.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1. Section 1 of P.L.1994, c.47 (C.2C:21-22)  is amended to read as follows:

     1.  a.  A person is guilty of a [disorderly persons offense] crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly engages in the unauthorized practice of law. 

     b.  A person is guilty of a crime of the [fourth] third degree if the person knowingly engages in the unauthorized practice of law and: 

     (1) Creates or reinforces a false impression that the person is licensed to engage in the practice of law; or 

     (2) Derives a benefit; or      

     (3) In fact causes injury to another.

     c.  For the  purposes of this section, the phrase "in fact" indicates strict liability. 

(cf: P.L.1994,c.47,s.1)

 

     2.  This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill upgrades the offense of knowingly engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.

     Currently this is a disorderly persons offense but it is increased to a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly engages in the unauthorized practice of law and: (1)  creates or reinforces a false impression that the person is licensed to engage in the practice of law; or (2)  derives a benefit; or           (3) in fact causes injury to another.

     This bill upgrades the offense generally to a crime of the fourth degree in subsection a. of N.J.S.A.2C:21-22.  If one of the additional circumstances is present then the crime would be upgraded from the present category of a crime of the fourth degree to a crime of the third degree in subsection b. of N.J.S.A.2C:21-22.

     A disorderly persons offense is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed six months or a fine not to exceed $1,000 or both.  A crime of the fourth degree ordinarily is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 18 months or a fine not to exceed $10,000 or both.  A crime of the third degree ordinarily is punishable by a term of imprisonment between three to five years or a fine not to exceed $15,000 or both.