While the Jersey Shore might have a reputation as a place that welcomes and caters to vices and bad behavior, people that breach the peace in New Jersey – by fighting, using offensive language in public, or making loud noises – will be arrested and charged accordingly. Laws against disorderly conduct, sometimes called “disturbing the peace” or “breach of the peace”, prohibit acting in a way that is likely to upset, anger, or annoy others. Disorderly conduct in NJ can be open to interpretation by the officers enforcing the law. They are allowed to use discretion in determining if your actions are reckless or disruptive according to the law and, if so, they will execute an arrest based on those actions.
You never want to put yourself in a position to have to explain why you have a disorderly conduct conviction to a future employer. In many cases, you will never get the opportunity to explain it – you will just be passed over. Employers will perform a background check on you, and you will not be invited to proceed with the interview process, or simply won’t be offered the job. Thankfully, the New Jersey disorderly conduct lawyers at Villani & DeLuca, P.C. have a long track record of successfully defending clients in Monmouth County and Ocean County, New Jersey against disorderly conduct charges. Because of the broad nature of the law, disorderly conduct is a quite common offense. For this reason, we have successfully defended many disorderly conducts cases and have probably handled one very similar to yours.
Know the New Jersey Disorderly Conduct Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2)
- Improper Behavior: A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he or she:
- Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
- Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
- Offensive Language: A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with the purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively course or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
“Public” means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood.
Disorderly Conduct Penalties in NJ
A disorderly conduct charge is a criminal offense, leading to a permanent criminal record if you are found guilty or plead guilty. Individuals convicted of disorderly conduct under New Jersey law may face a fine of up to $500, possible jail time, community service and restitution payments for any damage caused.
Our attorneys can negotiate a favorable plea agreement with the prosecutor for these charges, either getting the charges dismissed altogether or amending them down to municipal or borough ordinance violations.
Contact an Experienced NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer for Help
If you are charged with disorderly conduct, or any other crime in Monmouth or Ocean County, you should talk to the New Jersey criminal defense attorneys at Villani & DeLuca. Any criminal conviction, even one that results from seemingly trivial misbehavior, can result in serious consequences, such as time in jail, a fine and a criminal record. The attorneys at Villani & DeLuca can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 732-965-3350. Call today for a free consultation on how to protect your rights.