Contrary to popular misconceptions, a disorderly conduct charge is serious. It carries the risk of jail time, fees, fines and penalties. If convicted of disorderly conduct, it will appear on your criminal record and the conviction can't be removed for at least five years. If you have been arrested and charged with this offense the attorneys at our firm are ready to help. Don't minimize the potential impact this could have on your life. Protect your rights and you future. We are on call to answer any and all questions you may have.
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 provides:
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 creating a risk thereof he
- Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
- 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 so doing, 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.
"Public" means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood.
If you are charged with 2C:33-2(a), the prosecutor must prove that you engaged in conduct such as a fight, violent act, or behavior that creates a dangerous situation which serves no legitimate purpose. The purpose of the conduct must be to annoy, alarm, or cause public inconvenience.
In order to be found guilty of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2(b) the language must be spoken with the purpose to offend the sensibilities of the listener. However, the New Jersey Supreme Court, in State in the Interest of H.D., ruled this section of the provision unconstitutional. In the event, you are charged with this crime you should meet with a criminal attorney in New Jersey right away in order to seek dismissal of the charge.