Point Pleasant Disorderly Conduct Lawyers
We have represented many clients charged with Disorderly Conduct in Point Pleasant and made sure that this offense did not appear on their record. Disorderly conduct in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 is a petty disorderly persons offense. While this is the lowest graded offense in the New Jersey State criminal justice system it still carries fines, penalties and possible time in jail. This will also appear on your record. In many instances, there are constitutional defenses that revolve around freedom of speech. There is also time when the police simply get it wrong. Regardless, I have represented thousands of clients and have had great success defeating and defending disorderly conduct offenses. If you have been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in Point Pleasant, we offer a free consultation and can answer all your questions.
The offense of disorderly conduct consists of either:
A) Improper behavior: which if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, a person:
- 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. Or,
B) Offensive language: which 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, a person 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" is defined as affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; places include highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood.
The penalties you will be facing if charged with Disorderly Conduct include fines, assessments, possibly probation with conditions, community service and jail time. Specifically, you could face a fine of up to $500 pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:43-3; court costs of approximately $35, a $50 Violent Crimes Compensation Board assessment and a $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund assessment. Restitution will also be imposed for any damage done as a result of the disorderly conduct.
If your sentence includes probation then you will have to submit to random drug and urine testing. Probation will likely include community service and reporting requirements. A violation of probation will likely result in jail. The maximum jail sentence for a petty disorderly persons defense is 30 days.
You will have a criminal record if you plead guilty or are found guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense. While it may not be the most serious offense it still could prevent you from being hired if another candidate has no criminal record. This offense could cause you to lose out on a promotion or be asked to resign from a public office. N.J.S.A. 2C52-3 permits expungement for which you must typically wait 5 years.
This offense could affect an application for citizenship or naturalization causing it to be delayed or denied. You may even be deported depending on your status.
There are defenses to disorderly conduct. The key is to analyze the totality of the circumstances. For example under the the prohibition of improper behavior did you act purposefully or recklessly? These are states of mind and the actual actions must be looked at in detail to infer your intent. Also, was your behavior truly fighting or threatening or perhaps horseplay that was misinterpreted? Under the prohibition of offensive language were you aware you were in public place and there are people that could hear you? Perhaps it was late at night and you just realized you were locked out of your car after a long day in the city and it was bitterly cold as you stand there with a dead phone and you start screaming and don’t realize there is a family with young kids just 3 cars down. You may have been exercising your right to free speech. This may be a scenario where a dismissal would be appropriate.
The point is that the facts need to be scrutinized and analyzed to fight this charge. In some instances if the States’ case is strong than a plea offer, a down grade to a town ordinance may be the best option, this would result in a fine, but not a criminal conviction. I hope that you will consider hiring an experienced criminal trial lawyer like myself to review your case and help you get the best possible outcome.