Need a Lawyer for a Disorderly Conduct Charge in Ocean Township
Being summonsed to appear in court to answer for a traffic offense, let alone a criminal offense can be intimidating. The stress from the unknowns at times can be far worse than the actual repercussions. By far one of the most frequently charged offenses in New Jersey, which includes Ocean Township is disorderly conduct. This is basically New Jersey’s catchall offense. As you will see below, the legislatures choose to leave the language of the offense vague, so that various low level types of allegations can be encompassed under its grasp. Some of the potential conduct includes but is not limited too: verbal disputes, minor physical altercations and general conduct that disturbs the peace. Ocean Township, which covers about 11 square miles in the southeastern region of Monmouth County and is home to just under 30,000 individuals, sees it fair share of crime, including disorderly conduct charges. The Ocean Township Police Department issued more than 2,300 criminal complaints in 2019 alone. The majority of those crimes were low level offenses like disorderly conduct.
If you or a loved one has been placed under arrest and charged with disorderly conduct in Ocean Township, we strongly urge that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. Although disorderly conduct is considered a low level offense in the grand scheme of the New Jersey criminal code, the potential sentence can be devastating. Some of the potential penalties include fines, probation, a criminal record and even jail time. If you would like to speak to one of the criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law about your options, please contact our office at 732.858.6959 or you can try contacting us online. One of our Ocean Township criminal defense attorneys would be glad to go over the specifics of your case and formulate a defense that works best to suit your needs.
Can I be Convicted with Disorderly Conduct?
Although most consider disorderly conduct New Jersey’s catchall all offense, and for the most part that is an accurate description, its reaches are not unlimited. Probably due in large part to the fact that it is considered a catchall crime, we often see law enforcement miss charging this offense. NJSA 2C:33-2 is broken down into two different subsections: Improper Behavior and Offensive Language. In order to be convicted of disorderly conduct, under NJSA 2C:33-2a, Improper Behavior, the prosecution would need to prove the following:
- That the Defendant, with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof:
- Engaged in fighting or threatening, or in other violent or tumultuous behavior; or
- Created a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which served no legitimate purpose.
In order to be convicted of disorderly conduct, under NJSA 2C:33-2b, Offensive Language, the prosecution would need to prove the following:
- That the Defendant, while in a public place, and with the purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing they:
- Addresses the public at large in an unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language.
For more information on disorderly conduct charges in Monmouth County, including potential defenses, please click the link.
What to Expect when Charged with Disorderly Conduct in Ocean Township
First and foremost, it is important to highlight the distinction between “disorderly conduct” and a “disorderly person offense”. Disorderly conduct, which is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2, is a specific charge in New Jersey. Disorderly persons offense is a degree of a charge (i.e. felony / misdemeanor). It is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. Most of the confusion lies in the fact that disorderly conduct is considered a petty disorderly persons offense. Since disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense, anyone charged with this offense in Ocean Township will be summonsed to appear in the Ocean Township Municipal Court, which is located at 399 Monmouth Rd in Oakhurst for disposition.
What is the Sentence for a Disorderly Conduct Offense in NJ?
As touched upon above, disorderly conduct is considered a petty disorderly persons offense. If convicted, an individual will be facing up to 30 days in the Monmouth County Jail, a fine up to $500, community service, probation, fees and assessments nearing $200 as well as being scared with a criminal record. In addition, pursuant to New Jersey’s expungement laws (NJSA 2C:52) anyone convicted of a petty disorderly persons offense will need to wait at least five years before they can petition the court to remove said conviction. With that being said, starting in June of 2020, the waiting period will be three years. For more information on expunging a disorderly persons conviction in New Jersey, please click the link.
Need a Local Ocean Township Lawyer for Disorderly Conduct Charge
Keith Oliver Criminal Law is a Monmouth County based criminal defense firm that has been defending those accused of criminal offenses in towns throughout Ocean Township. Those criminal offenses include but are not limited to simple assault, domestic violence, drug possession and DWI. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation today, please contact our office at 732.858.6959. As you can tell from reading above, this is not something to take lightly, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us.