Disorderly Persons Offense
Disorderly conduct is a criminal charge in New Jersey that can apply to a wide variety of behavior, ranging from physical altercations to public intoxication and even offensive language. The legal language of the statute is purposefully vague, providing law enforcement officials with the discretion to charge anyone whom they believe satisfies the criteria of creating a public annoyance, inconvenience, or alarm. In some cases, a disorderly conduct charge is issued in coordination with other serious charges, such as resisting arrest. Even in the absence of other charges, a conviction for a disorderly persons offense may lead to penalties including fines, a charge on your criminal record, and even jail time. However, a skilled disorderly conduct lawyer can often negotiate for the downgrading of these charges to a non-criminal offense known as a municipal ordinance violation. These violations will not result in a criminal charge on your record and are generally resolved by paying a fine, similar to a ticket.
The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices have assisted thousands of clients with a disorderly conduct charge. Their experience working for the State has allowed them to accumulate an extraordinary body of legal knowledge, which they use to benefit their clients everyday. For a free consultation about your case, contact their office 973-239-8000.
Disorderly Conduct in New Jersey: N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2
Petty disorderly persons offenses are outlined in section N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 of the New Jersey Criminal Code, which reads:
a. Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly create a risk thereof he or she:
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
(2) Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
b. Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of doing so, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
Charged With Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct is classified as a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey, which is the lowest level of criminal offense under State law. As such, a conviction may result in one or more of the following penalties:
- Up to 30 days to be served in the county jail
- A maximum fine of $500.00
These penalties may be imposed in addition to others if you are charged and found guilty of more than one offense.
Contacting seasoned defense attorneys is the best and often most important decision that you can make when charged with a crime like disorderly conduct. The attorneys at Breslow Law Offices will walk you through every step of the legal process and use all means necessary to have your charges downgraded or dismissed altogether. Call them today to learn more 973-239-8000.