What is a Disorderly Persons Offense?
The term a “disorderly persons offense” is often confused with the term “disorderly conduct”. A disorderly persons offense is not a specific crime like disorderly conduct but it is a degree of a crime. It is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor, just like an indictable offense is New Jersey’s version of a felony. Technically speaking, a disorderly persons offense is considered an “offense” in New Jersey and not a “crime”. With that being said, anyone convicted of a disorderly persons offense will be scared with a criminal record.
Where Do I go to Court of a Disorderly Persons Offense?
All disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses will be litigated in the local municipal court int he municipality where the incident occurred. So, for example if a Defendant is arrested in Lawrenceville, New Jersey and charged with the possession of marijuana under 50 grams they will be forced to appear in the Lawrenceville Municipal Court to answer for those charges. However, if for example the Defendant is arrested in Lawrenceville, New Jersey for possession of marijuana under 50 grams and the possession of heroin, both charges will be transferred to the Mercer County Superior Court for disposition since the heroin charge is a felony offense.
How Much Jail Time is there for a Disorderly Persons Offense?
Misdemeanor offenses in New Jersey are broken down into two different degrees, disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses. Anyone convicted of a disorderly persons offense will be facing up to six months in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $1,000 and a criminal record. Anyone convicted of a petty disorderly persons offense will facing up to thirty days in the Mercer County Jail, a fine up to $500 and a criminal record. Pursuant to New Jersey expungement laws, anyone convicted of a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense will be ineligible to erase that conviction from their record for at least three years. For more information on expunging a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey, please click the link.
Common Disorderly Persons Offenses Issued in Mercer County
Mercer County as a whole issues around 20,000 disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses each and every year. That is a tremendous amount of offenses for what is considered one of the smallest geographical counties in all of New Jersey. Here is some of the most common disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses that are issued in Mercer County:
Disorderly Persons Offenses
- Possession of Marijuana
- Simple Assault
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Resisting Arrest
Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses
- Disorderly Conduct
- Simple Assault (Mutual Combat)
Some of the busiest courts in Mercer County for disorderly persons offenses include the Trenton Municipal Court, the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court, the Robbinsville Municipal Court and the Princeton Municipal Court. The Mercer County criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law routinely defend clients accused of disorderly persons offenses in courts throughout Mercer County. If you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us at 609-789-0779.