Hillsborough NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
The offense of disorderly conduct is in essence a catch all type of crime in New Jersey. It covers a wide variety of potential conduct and that is why it is one of the most common crimes charged in all of New Jersey, including Somerset County. If you have been charged with the offense of disorderly conduct, simple assault, shoplifting, criminal mischief, stalking, terroristic threats or resisting arrest in Somerset County, the criminal attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Disorderly conduct is considered a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey. That is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. So if convicted, a Defendant could be facing not only a criminal record but jail time as well, even for a first time offender. To speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys today about your options, then please contact us at (908) 533-1064.
Consult with a Bound Brook Defense Attorney Today About a Disorderly Conduct Offense
At Keith Oliver Criminal Law, we treat every case like it is our only case regardless of whether you are facing a homicide charge or a speeding ticket. Our attorneys are well aware of what a criminal conviction let alone jail time can do to someone’s future. So, if you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Bound Brook, North Plainfield, Watchung, Bridgewater, Hillsborough, Raritan, Bedminster, Franklin or South Bound Brook, let the lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law help. If you would like to speak to one of our criminal defense attorneys about your options then please contact us at (908) 533-1064. We can go over the specific facts of your case and we will give you our honest feedback on we can be of assistance. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs, so please do not hesitate to contact us.
Just How Serious is a Disorderly Conduct Case in New Jersey
Disorderly conduct is by far one of the most frequent criminal charges issued in all of New Jersey. As addressed above, the main reason for that is because the statute covers a wide variety of potential conduct, including fighting, arguing, breaching the peace, public intoxication, verbal threats etc. With that being said, the conduct alleged still needs to fit the elements of the offense. All too often we are defending clients who were charged with disorderly conduct simply because the arresting officers was under the mistaken believe that the conduct in question would fit under the disorderly conduct statute. Although the statute is broad, it does not encompass every possible potential conduct out there.
What are the Elements for Disorderly Conduct Charge?
The governing statute in New Jersey for disorderly conduct is NJSA 2C:33-2(a). The statute is broken down into two different subsections, which state in pertinent part:
NJSA 2C:33-2a: Improper Behavior:
- A person is guilty of petty disorderly persons offense if with purpose to cause a public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or recklessly creating a risk thereof, the Defendant
- Engages in fighting, or threatening, or violent or tumultuous behavior; or
- Create a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose
As you can tell, this section of the statute is very broad and it can cover a lot of potential conduct. However, the list is not enlist. The conduct must rise to the level that causes a “public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm” or “no legitimate purpose”. To speak to one of our attorneys about your options, please contact us at (908)533-1064.
For example, it State v. Stampone, the Court held that slamming a car door to prevent a police officer’s unauthorized entry into the vehicle did not constitute tumultuous behavior within the meaning of the statue.
NJSA 2C:33-2b: Offensive Language:
- A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with the purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of doing so, 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 other person present.
In Cohen v. California, the Court held that language which is merely found offensive by sensitive hearer cannot be prohibited consistent Constitution. So as you can see, the statute is broad but not endless.
Disorderly Conduct is Classified as a Misdemeanor in NJ
The offense of disorderly conduct, regardless of the subsection, will be considered a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey. That is New Jersey’s version of a misdemeanor. if convicted, a Defendant will be facing up to 30 days in the Somerset County Jail, a fine up to $500, a criminal record, community service and probation.
Can I Avoid Jail Time on a Disorderly Conduct Case?
If disorderly conduct charges cannot be dismissed outright, more often than not, they can be downgraded to a Borough ordinance which is a non criminal offense. In addition, a diversionary program known as the conditional dismissal has been created for these types of offenses. If eligible and if accepted, the Defendant will be placed on a probationary period. If they successfully complete the program, the current charges will be outright dismissed.
Common Criminal Offenses Charged Along with Disorderly Conduct in Somerset County
It is very common for an individual who is facing a disorderly conduct charge to also be facing other criminal offenses as well. Some of the more frequent charges that we see being issued in connection with a disorderly conduct charge include: harassment, simple assault, underage drinking, cyber-harassment and resisting arrest. If this is to occur, all of the offense will be litigated together since they derive from the same incident. If one of the ancillary offenses is classified as an indictable offense (felony) then the individual’s entire case, including the disorderly conduct charge must be transferred from the local municipal court to the Superior Court.
Speak to a Disorderly Conduct Lawyer in Clinton NJ
If you or a loved one has been charged with disorderly conduct in Somerset County, in towns like North Plainfield, Raritan, Watchung, Somerville, Bridgewater, Franklin or South Bound Brook, the criminal defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our attorneys will aggressively challenge the evidence presented against you in order to obtain a favorable outcome. To speak to one of our attorneys today about your options please contact us at (908) 533-1064. We also defend client accused of simple assault, harassment, shoplifting, terroristic threats, burglary and possession of marijuana under 50 grams.