Felonies, Crimes, and Disorderly Persons Charges in NJ
Disorderly conduct in NJ (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2) encompasses many different types of behavior and often accompanies other charges such as simple assault and loitering. And since the New Jersey laws can seem confusing to decipher; it’s understandable to have a lot of questions. If you or a loved one has been charged with disorderly conduct, you may be wondering what you could be facing? Jail? Fines? Is disorderly conduct considered a felony? How will it affect your future?
Read on to learn the differences between a felony, crime and a disorderly persons offense in NJ and how an experienced NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer can help.
What is a Felony in NJ?
In New Jersey, offenses that are considered a “felony” in other jurisdictions are actually referred to as “crimes”. An indictable offense (crime) in New Jersey would be considered the equivalent of a felony in other states, because the sentence for any indictable offense is at least one year in prison. Indictable crimes in New Jersey are separated into the first to the fourth degrees, with first degree crimes being the most serious and fourth degree being the least serious. For example:
• First degree crimes include murder, manslaughter, and rape.
• Second degree crimes include sex crimes, aggravated arson, robbery, kidnapping and drug crimes.
• Third degree crimes include some arson, burglary or theft offenses, possession of controlled dangerous substances and aggravated assault offenses.
• Fourth degree crimes include some aggravated assault charges, forgery charges, theft charges, and drug crimes.
What is a Disorderly Persons Offense?
Non-indictable offenses are called disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offenses. A petty disorderly person offense is the least serious and includes disorderly conduct and harassment. A disorderly persons offense is a more serious offense and generally falls into the category of acts that disturb the peace, shoplifting, public lewdness, simple assault/fighting, possession of marijuana under 50 grams and resisting arrest and it will show up on a criminal history report.
Disorderly Conduct Considered a Petty Disorderly Persons Charge
In NJ, disorderly conduct is considered a petty disorderly persons charge. Disorderly persons charges and petty disorderly persons charges differ in that they have significantly different penalties for a conviction. The penalties for a petty disorderly persons offenses can include up to a $500 fine, 30 days in jail, probation, and the payment of restitution.
What is Disorderly Conduct N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2
A person is charged with a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk.
• Engages in Fighting
• Threatening or violent or tumultuous behavior
• Use loud, offensive language in public
• Create hazardous conditions for no reason which serve no legitimate purpose
For example, shouting obscenities in a cinema is considered to be disorderly conduct, as is being loud, intoxicated and disruptive a bar (2C:33-2).
Obtaining Legal Assistance
The Criminal Defense Lawyers at Villani & DeLuca P.C. have represented individuals throughout the entire array of criminal matters, including theft, assault, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, fake ID, underage drinking, and more. Our priority is getting you results. With experience representing clients charged with crimes and disorderly persons charges throughout New Jersey, we have the knowledge and skill to thoroughly evaluate your case and strategize a legal defense that can be used to defend you against these allegations. Call us at [dyna_phone phone=’1′ format=’dashed’] for a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
If you or someone you love is charged with disorderly conduct or a similar crime, call a New Jersey criminal defense attorney at Villani & DeLuca P.C. Any type of criminal conviction can have serious and long-lasting consequences. The best way to protect your future is with a strong defense. Contact us at [dyna_phone phone=’1′ format=’dashed’] for your free initial consultation today.