After you get arrested for disorderly conduct, one of your biggest concerns will be whether or not you’ll go to jail. It goes without saying that jail’s a scary place and the repercussions of it can linger for years to come, making it difficult to secure housing, employment and even an education. If this is your first offense, the prospect of going to jail can be overwhelming. Don’t worry – we explain what you should expect down below.
What is Disorderly Conduct?
Disorderly conduct – also known as a disorderly persons offense – is not treated like felony charges but that doesn’t mean it can’t result in jail time. Disorderly conduct charges are handled in a municipal court; this is also where traffic violations such as a DUI are also handled. These offenses include:
- Using improper or offensive language with the intend to offend
- Commiting tumultuous behavior
- Creating a dangerous situation for no reason
- Screaming in inappropriate places such as stores, movie theaters or airports
In other words, disorderly conduct offenses are those that aim to disrupt the peace of those around them.
In many cases, teenagers and young adults may not realize that their behavior constitutes a disorderly persons offense, making the need for a criminal defense attorney all the more important.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct
In New Jersey, those who are charged with disorderly conduct may face up to six months in jail and a minimum fine of $500. Due to the nature of these crimes and those who tend to commit it, many judges try to shy away from giving a maximum sentencing. However, it’s not impossible to receive a harsher sentence.
Challenging a Disorderly Persons Charge
Six months is an incredibly long time for a teenager or young adult to spend in jail and it can cost them their ability to continue their education. Because of the detrimental effect a criminal record can have on a teen or young adult, hiring experienced legal counsel is imperative. Your criminal defense attorney may be able to challenge the charges by proving that there was a legitimate reason for the person to yell (i.e. – someone was in danger) or that his or her acts were not reckless.
Contact an Experienced Moorestown Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Disorderly Persons Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Law Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with a disorderly persons offense in Evesham Township, Mount Laurel, Willingboro, Pemberton and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 242-7300 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St., Moorestown, NJ 08057, as well as offices located in Cherry Hill.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.