What Are Fines?

Unless the statute establishing the crime or some other section of the criminal code provides otherwise, the maximum fines which may be imposed on an individual defendant are set forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3.

This section states that individuals convicted of varying degrees of offenses may be ordered to pay a fine as follows:

  1. $100,000 for a conviction of a crime of the first or second degree;
  2. $7,500 for a conviction of a crime of the third or fourth degree;
  3. $1,000 for a conviction of a disorderly persons offense; and
  4. $500 for a conviction of a petty disorderly person’s offense

N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3a-d.

Alternatively, a defendant may be compelled to pay a higher amount equal to twice the pecuniary pain to the offender or loss to the victim caused by the conduct constitution the offense. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3e. Defendants convicted of drug offenses may be compelled to pay a higher amount, up to three times the street value of the controlled dangerous substance. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3h. Defendants who have been convicted a second time or more for tax offenses, fraud or theft may be compelled to pay a fine double those ordinarily set fourth for the various degrees of offenses. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3g.

A corporation convicted of a crime may be compelled to pay three times the amount of the fines discussed above, as asset forth in N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-4a. The corporation may also be compelled to pay restitution in accordance with N.J.S.A. 2C:44-2. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-4a. Finally, a corporation may face potential dissolution, forfeiture of its charter and/or revocation of any franchises held by it or of the certificate authorizing the corporation to conduct business in the State of New Jersey. N.J.S.A. 2C:43-4b. These sanctions may be imposed if a corporation or a high managerial agent of the corporation is convicted of an offense committed in conducting the affairs of the corporation. Id.

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