On January 12, 2010, New Jersey Senator, Nicholas Scutari, introduced a bill in Senate Judiciary Committee (Senate, No.: 184) which upgrades the offense for the unauthorized practice of law or UPL from a disorderly persons offense and a fourth and third degree crime.
If passed, the bill, will make the unauthorized practice of law a crime of the fourth degree or a crime of the third degree if certain other circumstances are present, such as: (1) the creation and/or reinforcement of the impression that the person is licensed to practice law; (2) if the person derives any benefit from the UPL; or (3) causes injury to another person.
A crime of a fourth degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment not to exceed 18 months or a fine of $10,000 or both. A crime of the third degree is punishable by a term of imprisonment between three to five years or a fine not to exceed $15,000 or both.