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How do I know if I risk forfeiture of my job or office in NJ traffic / municipal court?

If you have a public job or office, you could stand to lose it if convicted of certain offenses. But how do you know when you're in trouble? Which offenses cause a problem?

You need to avoid any conviction of an offense that

  • involves dishonesty or
  • "involves or touches upon" your public office or employment.

Either will result in the loss of your public sector office or job. The first situation is fairly self-evident. Even the second one if the crime is committed during the course of your duties. But what happens when you are accused of doing something wrong when you are not working?

So How Can This Happen?

For example, what about an off-duty police officer or a teacher at a family gathering?  The NJ Supreme Court has ruled that this can lead to forfeiture. The court stated that

"forfeiture for off duty misconduct ay be ordered when the infraction casts a shadow over the employee. In effect, something that would make the person's continued public service appear to be incompatible with the traits of trustworthiness, honesty, and obedience."

The statutes state that the off-duty misconduct must have a "direct and substantial relationship to the governmental position that is subject to forfeiture."

So What Do I Do?

This is very serious and not something that you want to handle yourself. No one, especially in this economy, can afford to lose their job. If you live in southern New Jersey, have a public job or office, and are charged with a crime like this, please feel free to please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment for a free consultation in my Woodbury office.

If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ, and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.

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