New Jersey Disorderly Conduct Law
We represent clients charged with N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2; New Jersey disorderly conduct complaints in central New Jersey municipalities including East Brunswick, New Brunswick, Woodbridge, Edison, Old Bridge, North Brunswick, South Brunswick, South River, Monroe and Sayreville.
To be convicted of New Jersey disorderly conduct, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2, the person must engage in fighting, threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior or create a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by an act which serves no legitimate purpose.
In addition, any of these acts must be committed with the purpose to cause a public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm or recklessly create a risk of such.
Public means a place to which a substantial group has access which include highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement or any neighborhood.
Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense.
A person convicted of this offense is subject to a fine of up to $500 plus assessments to Victims of Crime Compensation Board and to the Safe Neighborhood Services Fund of approximately $125.
Although a person convicted of this offense who has not been previously convicted of an offense is entitled to a presumption of non-incarceration, defendant may be sentenced up to 30 days in jail.
If a motor vehicle was used in the course of committing the offense, the court may suspend the defendant's driver's license up to two years.
If the defendant holds a public office, a conviction may result in forfeiture of office.
Provided defendant has not been convicted of more than three disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses, or defendant has not been convicted of an indictable offense, he or she may have their conviction expunged five years after sentence is carried out.
Statute of Limitations
Prosecution must be commenced within 1 year after the offense is committed.
Prosecution commences when a warrant or other process such as a summons or complaint is issued.
If the New Jersey disorderly conduct takes place indoors or in other areas where the public is not affected is a complete defense because the "public" element cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
The best case result for any type of charge is dismissal - no record and no fine - although more often than not it is not possible to procure such a favorable result for this offense.
If a dismissal is not attainable then the next best possible outcome would be a plea to a municipal ordinance, which will preclude one from sustaining the stigma that an offense attaches to one's record.
However, defendant will be fined by the Court, although fines for municipal ordinances are lower than are fines for disorderly persons offenses.
This offense is often charged with other offenses, such as simple assault, harassment or trespassing.
Hence, if the prosecutor is not willing to dismiss or downgrade the charge, then an effort should be made to have this charge merged with a companion charge.
If you have any questions for a NJ criminal defense lawyer about a New Jersey Disorderly Conduct charge, please do not hesitate to contact us.