Disorderly Conduct Charges in Belmar, New Jersey
Have you been charged with disorderly conduct in Belmar, NJ? If so, you must appear in the Belmar Municipal Court, which is located at 601 Main Street, to answer the for the charges since they are considered a petty disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. Although disorderly conduct is often referred to as New Jersey’s catchall charge, its limits are not endless. Whether you have been accused of fighting at D’Jais, being overly loud on Ocean Ave, publicly intoxicated outside of Bar Anticipation or a combination of all of the above and have found yourself charged in disorderly conduct, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help.
If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with one of the experienced criminal defense lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law, then please contact us directly at 732-858-6959. Our attorneys have been appearing in the Belmar Municipal Court and defending those accused of disorderly conduct, simple assault, possession of a fake ID, underage drinking, resisting arrest and various other charges for the better part of the last decade. Although these charges seem minor on their face, the potential penalties if convicted could be devastating to someone’s future. If convicted, a Defendant would be scarred with a criminal record for at least three years, at which point they would need to petition the court for an expungement. Do not let a simple lapse in judgement or an alcohol-fueled decision ruin your future. This is a serious charge and if not handled properly could drastically effect your future. Now here is some information on disorderly conduct charges in New Jersey, including the potential penalties associated with a conviction for this criminal offense.
What does Disorderly Conduct mean in NJ?
Disorderly Conduct is a specific type of charge in New Jersey and it should not be confused with a disorderly persons offense, which is a degree of a charge. NJSA 2C:33-2, which is the governing statute in New Jersey for disorderly conduct, has been broken down into two different subsections, Improper Behavior and Offensive Language.
Under NJSA 2C:33-2a, Improper Behavior states in pertinent part:
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 (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.
So, first and foremost, the prosecution must prove that it was the Defendant’s underlying purpose to cause a public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating risk thereof. This can prove to be problematic at times, purposely is the highest mens rea in New Jersey, it has been defined as:
“A person acts purposely with respect to the nature of his/her conduct or a result thereof if it is his/her conscious object to engage in conduct of that nature or to cause such a result. A person acts purposely with respect to attendant circumstances if he/she is aware of the existence of such circumstances or he/she believes or hopes that they exist.”
Under NJSA 2C:33-2b, Offensive Language states in pertinent part:
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.
To be convicted under this subsection, the prosecution must prove not only that the specific language in question was unreasonably loud but also the fact it was offensively coarse or abusive.
So as you can tell, although this statute does encompass a wide array of potential conducting, including but not limiting too fighting, threatening to fight, offensive language or any other tumultuous behavior, it does have limits. This is why you should contact and speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options, prior to appearing in court.
Is Disorderly Conduct a Criminal Offense in New Jersey?
Yes, disorderly conduct is considered a petty disorderly persons offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. If convicted, a Defendant would be subject to the following penalties:
- 30 Days in the Monmouth County Jail
- A $500 Fine
- Community Service
- A $75 Safe Neighborhood Services Fund Fee
- A $30 Law Enforcement Officers Training & Equipment Fee
- A $50 Victims of Crimes Compensation Fund Fee
- Court Ordered Rehab
As you can tell, this is not something that should be taken lightly. The ramifications if convicted will undoubtably have a significant impact on your life.
Will a Disorderly Conduct Charge Remain on my Record Forever?
In short, the answer is no, a disorderly conduct conviction can be expunged in New Jersey. That is provided that the Defendant does not have any other arrest or convictions in this State or any other State. Pursuant to NJSA 2C:52-3, which is the governing statute in New Jersey for expunging a disorderly persons conviction, a Defendant may petition the court to expunge the conviction from their record after the expiration of three years. For more information on expunging a disorderly conduct charge in Monmouth County, please click the link.
Contact a Belmar Township NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer to Discuss Your Case
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a Monmouth County based criminal defense firm that has a tremendous amount of experience defending those charged with disorderly conduct in the Belmar Municipal Court. As you can see from reading above, being charged with disorderly conduct is not something to take lightly. The potential ramifications if convicted can have a devastating impact on your future. If you would like to speak to one of our Belmar criminal defense attorneys today about your options, then please contact us directly at 732-858-6959 or you can try contacting us online as well.