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Joseph A. Lombardo

Disorderly conduct is a somewhat vague criminal offense that encompasses certain disruptive behaviors. These charges may come with expensive fines and possible jail time if you are convicted, and you should speak to a lawyer about your case right away.

Disorderly conduct is a broad offense that may be charged when a person exhibits disruptive behavior in public. The behavior usually includes fighting or otherwise creating a physically hazardous environment. Charges may also apply if someone uses offensive, loud, and abusive language to create a public disturbance. If convicted, a defendant charged with disorderly conduct may be sentenced to up to 30 days in jail in addition to costly fines. An attorney can help you fight your charges and hopefully avoid spending any time in jail. Although these charges might not seem serious, they are often connected to more severe charges related to fighting or violence.

Disorderly conduct charges are just as serious as any other criminal offense. Our Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers can help you handle your charges as quickly as possible. For a free case assessment, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.

What Kind of Offense is Disorderly Conduct in New Jersey?

Many states divide crimes into categories of felonies, misdemeanors, and infractions, but New Jersey is different. New Jersey uses a similar system but employs different terms. Criminal offenses are instead called indictable crimes (felonies), disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors), and petty disorderly persons offenses (infractions). While these categories are not exact parallels, they are often pretty close.

Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:33-2, disorderly conduct is considered a petty disorderly offense. Do not be fooled by the relatively low-level designation of this offense. Our experienced Atlantic County criminal defense lawyers can help anyone charged with disorderly conduct and related charges.

The offense may be charged when a defendant engages in improper behavior in a public setting. This improper behavior typically includes fighting, making threats, or otherwise behaving in a violent and tumultuous manner. It may also be charged if a defendant does something to create a physically dangerous environment for others in a public space. It is not unusual for disorderly conduct charges to be charged alongside other violent offenses.

A person can also be charged with disorderly conduct for using offensive language. Offensive language may include loud, offensive, or abusive language in a public setting. The defendant must intend to cause a public disturbance or offend the people around them.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in New Jersey

People sometimes brush off or disregard disorderly conduct charges because they are categorized as low-level offenses. You should treat disorderly conduct charges as seriously as any other charges because they come with some pretty harsh penalties. Penalties may vary from case to case, and our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys can help you understand the potential penalties you might be facing.

As we discussed above, defendants charged with disorderly conduct may be guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-8, such a charge may be penalized with a jail sentence of up to 30 days. You may also be fined up to $500.

Although the offense might not seem like a big deal at first, the penalties are significant. Spending 30 days in jail means spending an entire month away from your friends, family, and work. Your job might not be waiting for you when you are released, and paying a fine may be difficult with no income. Our Egg Harbor criminal defense lawyers can help you hopefully avoid these harsh penalties.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me with Disorderly Conduct Charges in New Jersey?

The offense of disorderly conduct on its own is typically regarded as a low-level offense, and the penalties, although harsh, tend to be mild in comparison to other charges. Disorderly conduct is often connected to cases involving other more serious offenses, like assault or terroristic threatening. Even if you are not intimidated by your disorderly conduct charges, you might be facing additional criminal charges that are even more severe.

If you were arrested and charged in relation to a public fight, you might also be charged with something like assault or a similar offense. Assault is a violent offense and is considered an indictable crime. Aggravated assault might also be assessed depending on your circumstances. In some cases, defendants charged with disorderly conduct face many years in state prison for other charges on their case.

An attorney can help you fight your disorderly conduct charges and any other criminal charges you face. Developing the best defense strategy might mean understanding how your disorderly conduct charges are entangled with other charges. Our Linwood criminal defense attorneys can review your case and immediately begin working on a defense.

Is Disorderly Conduct a Serious Criminal Offense in New Jersey?

Some would argue that charges for disorderly conduct are not very serious. In truth, all criminal charges, even for petty disorderly persons offenses, are serious and deserve special attention. Disorderly conduct convictions may see you placed behind bars for a while. You might also have to pay expensive fines you cannot afford.

The tricky thing about disorderly conduct charges is that they are often attached to more severe charges. There is a good chance that your disorderly conduct charges are not the only charges on your docket. Dealing with one criminal charge is bad enough, but dealing with several may be extremely difficult without an attorney. Our Mays Landing criminal defense attorneys can help you handle your charges quickly and efficiently.

Disorderly conduct will show up on your criminal record if you are convicted. Even if you are not frightened of the potential penalties, the conviction might haunt you for years. Potential employers performing background checks will find out about your conviction, and future job opportunities might be in jeopardy.

Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help Now

If you have been charged with disorderly conduct, the penalties and related consequences may be more serious than you initially imagined. Our Camden County criminal defense attorneys can explain your charges and help you fight them in court. For a free case review, call the Lombardo Law Group, LLC at (609) 418-4537.

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