Need an Attorney for Disorderly Persons Charge in Clinton
Clinton Township is one of the largest municipalities in Hunterdon County, covering more than 33 square miles in the northeastern region of the county. Although it is one of the larger municipalities within the county, the total population of Clinton Township is less than 13,000, which is probably due in large part too is rural makeup. However, surprisingly enough, the Clinton Municipal Court is one of the busiest courthouses in not only Hunterdon County but the entire state. In 2019 alone the Clinton Municipal Court presided over more than 700 disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses. That number is significantly higher than most other municipalities in New Jersey.
Have to Appear in the Clinton Municipal Court for a Disorderly Persons Offense?
Have you been summonsed to appear in the Clinton Municipal Court to answer for a recent disorderly persons arrest? If so, here is what you need know. First, it is important to understand that a “disorderly persons offense” is a degree of a crime and not a specific charge in and of itself. In New Jersey, a disorderly and petty disorderly persons offense is considered a misdemeanor. As you will see below, a disorderly persons offense is not something to underestimate. The potential consequences if convicted can be devastating to your future. That is just one of the many reasons that if you or a loved one has unfortunately found yourself in this type of situation, we strongly urge that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options prior to appearing in court.
Is Court Mandatory for a Disorderly Persons Charge?
Yes. Anyone arrested and charged with a disorderly or petty disorderly offense in Clinton Township will need to appear in the Clinton Municipal Court, which is actually located in Annandale at 1370 Route 31 North to litigate the charges. The Clinton Municipal Court has what is known as original jurisdiction over all traffic offenses, disorderly / petty disorderly person offenses and borough ordinances that occur within its boarders. However, if an individual is charged an indictable offense, which is New Jersey’s version of a felony, on top of the disorderly persons offense, then all of the charges must be transferred to the Hunterdon County Superior Court, which is located in Flemington for disposition. For more information on the Clinton Municipal Court, including the hours of operation, please click the link.
What is a Punishment for a Disorderly Persons Offense? Can I go to Jail?
As touched upon above, disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses are New Jersey’s version of misdemeanors. In other words, they are not just “violations” whereby an individual will be called upon to pay a fine if convicted, they are criminal offenses and they carry rather life changing consequences if not handled properly. If convicted, an individual could be facing jail time, high fines, community services, probation, court mandated treatment, a license suspension and a criminal record. To make matters worse, an individual will be unable to expunge their criminal history for at least three years and in most cases five years. For more information all of the applicable penalties for a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey, please click the link.
What is a Common Disorderly Persons Offenses Charged in NJ?
Some of the more frequently charged disorderly persons offenses we see being litigated in the Clinton Township Municipal Court include simple assault, possession of THC oil, drug paraphernalia, lewdness, possession of marijuana and shoplifting. Conversely, some of the more common petty disorderly persons offenses include disorderly conduct and harassment.
Need to Speak to a Lawyer about Disorderly Persons Charge in Clinton
As you can see from reading above, disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses are not something to underestimate. The potential consequences one faces if convicted can be devastating. If you would like to sit down and speak with one of our Clinton criminal defense attorneys today about your options then please contact our office directly at 908.533.1064. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs. So if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.