Trenton NJ Disorderly Conduct Attorneys
With Offices in Trenton and Pennington, NJ
Disorderly conduct is an extremely common offense in New Jersey. That’s because the charge applies to wide range of behavior that occurs in public places. A disorderly conduct charge does not make you a bad person. The charge is most often filed in response to fighting in public. Not surprisingly, alcohol is involved in many of these situations. The disorderly conduct laws in New Jersey exist primarily to ensure that public places remain peaceful. When law enforcement feels that an individual is disturbing the pace, they may cite the individual for disorderly conduct and let the prosecutor sort it out later. Disorderly conduct is essentially a default charge that law enforcement relies on when no other criminal charge applies.
Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson has been representing clients in New Jersey and Pennsylvania since 1972. Our criminal defense attorneys appear on a daily basis in courtrooms throughout Mercer County, including Hamilton, Pennington, and Hopewell. Additionally, our litigation team includes a New Jersey Certified Trial Attorney and a New Jersey “Super Lawyer,” so you can trust us to get the job done for you if your case goes to trial. Call KCR now to speak with one of our skilled litigators and start your defense.
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2: Disorderly Conduct Charges in Mercer County NJ
Disorderly conduct charges in New Jersey are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.
Anyone who engages in improper behavior with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm may be found guilty of disorderly conduct. Moreover, intentional behavior is not always required for a disorderly conduct charge; it is also against the law to recklessly create a risk of public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. Additionally, the statute specifies exactly what kind of conduct constitutes “improper behavior”: fighting another person; threatening another person; engaging in violent or tumultuous behavior; creating a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose.
The statute also prohibits the use of offensive language in public. It is against the law to address unreasonably loud and offensively course or abusive language. When determining whether language was sufficiently course or abusive to be offensive, a court will consider a number of factors, including the setting in which the language was used and the circumstances of the person who heard the language. The court will also use a reasonable person standard to determine whether the language would have offended an ordinary person in the position of the hearer. This means that the prosecution does not need to prove that the hearer was actually offended.
Disorderly conduct charges are typically heard in a local municipal court. However, when the charge is accompanied by more serious charges like resisting arrest or aggravated assault, the case may be heard in the county superior court.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in Princeton NJ
Disorderly conduct involving improper behavior is classified as a disorderly persons offense. This means that you may be sentenced to up to 6 months in the local county jail and fined up to $1,000.
Disorderly conduct involving offensive language is classified as a petty disorderly persons offense. This may result in a sentence of up to 30 days in the local county jail and fined up to $500.
Additionally, repeat offenders could be subject to enhanced penalties.
Fight a Disorderly Conduct Charge in Hamilton NJ
Depending upon the circumstances of the offense, it might be possible to get a disorderly conduct charge downgraded to a municipal ordinance violation. Although you might have to pay a modest fine, the criminal charges will essentially be dismissed and you will not have a criminal record as a result of the incident.
Speak with a Lawrence NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
The criminal defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to help you fight your disorderly conduct charges. We will do whatever it takes to ensure that you stay out of jail and keep your permanent record clear of a conviction. Call us today to discuss your charges, or email us to schedule a free, in-person consultation at our offices in Pennington or Trenton.