Disorderly Conduct Lawyer Mt. Laurel, NJ
Experienced New Jersey Criminal Attorney Defends Clients Against Disorderly Conduct Charges in Burlington County, Camden County & Gloucester County, NJ
Many defendants who have been charged with disorderly conduct in New Jersey are left somewhat puzzled — after all, they might not realize that there are laws that essentially criminalize offensive and improper behavior. Further, the relative ambiguity as to what constitutes “offensive behavior” can take people by surprise.
In some cases, the local prosecutor may charge the defendant with disorderly conduct without proper justification. As such, it’s important that you get in touch with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who can guide you through the litigation process and negotiate a favorable outcome on your behalf. If the charges are not substantially supported by the evidence, you may be able to avoid liability altogether. Call (609) 230-0374 today to speak with Attorney Michele Finizio about your legal issues. Attorney Finizio has represented clients facing charges for disorderly conduct and other misdemeanor-level offenses in municipal courts in Cherry Hill, Gloucester Township, Deptford, Medford, and throughout South Jersey.
The Basics of a Disorderly Conduct Charge in Camden, NJ
Disorderly conduct is a criminal offense established by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 and governs a range of improper behavior. It falls into the category of petty disorderly persons offenses, which means that disorderly conduct charges are handled at the municipal court level, not in the county superior court. Although disorderly conduct may seem like a minor offense, there are serious penalties associated with it. If you’re found guilty of disorderly conduct, you could be penalized with up to 30 days in jail and $500 in fines. Further, the disorderly conduct conviction will go on your permanent record, thus damaging your future employment prospects.
There are two types of disorderly conduct in New Jersey: 1) improper behavior and 2) offensive language.
You may be found guilty of disorderly conduct if the court determines that you — with the intention of causing public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm — engaged in fighting, threatening, violent, or tumultuous behavior, or if you have created a hazardous or physically dangerous condition which serves no legitimate purpose.
For example, if you begin screaming at the top of your lungs in an airport, perhaps to cause everyone to feel nervous (alarm), and with no other purpose, then you will likely be charged with disorderly conduct in New Jersey.
You may also be found guilty of disorderly conduct if the court determines that you publicly — and with the sole intention of offending others, or in reckless disregard of the likelihood of causing offense — engaged in offensive language. Offensive language can be difficult to define, but it is generally associated with loud, coarse, and abusive words.
It’s worth noting that whether the court finds that you have engaged in offensive language depends on the surrounding circumstances. For example, if you shout loud, coarse, and abusive epitaphs at an opposing team’s fans during an intense playoff football game, where everyone else is also engaging in such behavior, a court is unlikely to find you guilty of disorderly conduct.
Challenging the Prosecution in a Cherry Hill Disorderly Conduct Case
There are a range of defenses that you can take advantage of to avoid conviction for disorderly conduct in New Jersey. These possible defenses against disorderly conduct charges include demonstrating that:
- The purported conduct occurred in a private space, not a public space.
- The conduct was not intentional (or reckless).
- There was a legitimate purpose to the improper behavior (i.e., shouting to warn the public about a danger).
- And more.
Of course, there are other defenses that may be utilized in your particular case. The best way to explore your legal options is to speak with a qualified NJ criminal attorney who has experience representing clients in disorderly conduct cases in South Jersey courtrooms.
Free Consultation with an Experienced South Jersey Criminal Attorney About Your Disorderly Conduct Charges in Voorhees, NJ
If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct in Moorestown, Cherry Hill, Camden, or somewhere else in South Jersey, experienced criminal attorney Michele Finizio can help you avoid liability, or otherwise reduce the seriousness of the penalties that may be imposed by the court. Since 2006, Attorney Finizio has represented clients in a range of criminal litigation in Camden County & Burlington County municipal courts, including cases that involve disorderly conduct charges. She is therefore well-equipped to help you successfully navigate the unique challenges associated with NJ disorderly conduct charges.
Call (609) 230-0374 or submit the online contact form to schedule a free consultation with Attorney Finizio. All communication with our firm is confidential. We look forward to assisting you.