Hamilton NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
Disorderly conduct is in essence a catch all type of charge in New Jersey. It can include a multitude of different types of unlawful conduct, including but not limited to assault, trespassing, public intoxication, harassment and stalking. The offense of disorderly conduct is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2. It is considered a petty disorderly persons offense, more commonly known as a misdemeanor. If convicted, a Defendant faces potential incarceration, probation, fines, community service and a criminal record. If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, simple assault, harassment, possession of a fake id, stalking, shoplifting or any other criminal offense for that matter in Mercer County it is imperative that you speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
Keith Oliver Criminal Law has represented clients charged with disorderly conduct in towns like Hamilton, Lawrence, Hightstown, Robbinsville, Princeton, Ewing, West Windsor, East Windsor and Pennington for years. Prior to founding the firm, Mr. Oliver was a partner at one of the state largest criminal defense firm. During his time there Mr. Oliver was able to gain a tremendous amount of experience quickly. As a result of his time there, he can now bring the big firm experience to our firm. With a lesser caseload, it allows for Mr. Oliver to focus and be more hands on on all of his cases. If you would like to come into our office to have a face to face consultation with one of our attorneys please contact us at (609) 789-0779. We are available around the clock to help provide assistance in any way possible. Now here is some vital information on the charge of disorderly conduct.
Understanding Disorderly Conduct Offenses in NJ
As mentioned above, disorderly conduct is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 under the New Jersey criminal code. There are two subsections to this statute: improper behavior and offensive language. The specific facts surrounding the charges will dictate what subsection the Defendant is charged under. Here is what the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction.
The statute states in pertinent part that:
- Disorderly Conduct Charges Based on 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.
- Disorderly Conduct Charges Based on 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.
What Conduct is Actually Considered Disorderly in NJ?
As you can tell from reading the statute, it is extremely vague and covers a tremendous amount of potential actions. With that being said, this is where an experienced criminal defense attorney can attack. All too often, arresting officers will issue a Defendant a summons for disorderly conduct under what they think would fall under “improper behavior” when in reality it doesn’t. It tends to be a safety net that officer rely on. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Mercer County and would like a free consultation about the charges then please contact us at (609) 789-0779.
Court Appearances Are Mandatory for Disorderly Conduct Cases
Since disorderly conduct is considered a criminal offense in New Jersey, the defendant will be required to appear in open court to answer for the charges. The municipality where the incident occurred will have original jurisdiction over the charges. So, for example, if a defendant is charged with disorderly conduct of an incident that took place at Princeton University, the case would be sent to the Princeton Municipal Court for trial.
Disorderly Conduct is Considered a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense in NJ
Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense. If convicted, a Defendant faces up to thirty days in the Mercer County Jail, probation, a fine up to $500, fees and assessments totaling near $200, a criminal record and community service. With that being said, New Jersey has created a diversionary program, the Conditional Dismissal Program. If accepted into and if successfully completed, a Defendant could walk away from these charges without a criminal record. Also, depending on the underlying conduct, an experienced defense counsel could convince the prosecution to downgrade the charges to a township ordinance, which is not a criminal offense.
Common Charges Issued in Connection with a Disorderly Conduct Case in Mercer County
Since disorderly conduct is a catch all charge we do tend to see it being issued in connection with some more serious offenses, including indictable (felony) offenses. Some of the more frequent offenses we see include cyber-harassment, possession of a fake id, simple assault, terroristic threat and trespassing. If the offense is classified as a felony offense then the entire case will need to be transferred from the local Municipal Court to the Mercer County Superior Court, which is located in Trenton. As you can imagine, this would make a bad situation worse.
Speak to a West Windsor NJ Disorderly Conduct Attorney Today
If you have been arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, trespassing, shoplifting, harassment, simple assault in Mercer County, the Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Mr. Oliver has represented countless clients clients charged with disorderly conduct in courts throughout Mercer County for years now. Our office has the experience and skill set to make sure these charges do not ruin your future. We routinely appear in courts throughout the Mercer County including courts like the Lawrenceville Municipal Court, the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Hightstown Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court, the Pennington Municipal Court, the Hopewell Municipal Court, Ewing Municipal Court, East Windsor Municipal Court and Trenton Municipal Court. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779.