What's All the Commotion About?
The days of unrest that hit Baltimore following the controversial arrest and death of Freddie Gray caused Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan to declare a state of emergency and deploy the National Guard to restore order. Almost 500 people were arrested and over 100 officers were injured at the riots and protests; it has also left the city with a $20 million bill for the damages.
What are the Penalties for Rioting and Disorderly Conduct in NJ?
During riots, natural disasters and other states of emergencies, there is always a risk that members of the public will take advantage of the chaos around them and will engage in theft and crime offenses. Don't let all the commotion lure you into joining a riot; or you may face some major consequences. Disorderly conduct conviction in New Jersey may appear on your criminal record and during employer's background checks, which can prevent you from gaining employment. A conviction of any kind can ruin a person's job prospects, affect eligibility for professional licenses, child custody, student loans, health care and could lead to deportation.
Villani & DeLuca Can Help
The Villani & DeLuca attorneys can negotiate a favorable plea bargain, possibly dismissing or downgrading the charges. Our lawyers will help you understand the distinction between disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses – and what it means for your permanent record and possible punishment.
Disorderly Conduct: Rioting (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-1)
Rioting is a form of disorderly conduct committed by a group of five or more people. Rioting is a fourth degree crime unless it is committed with a firearm or deadly weapon, in which case it is a third degree crime. Participants or witnesses may be charged with failure to disperse if they refuse to immediately leave the scene of a riot when ordered to do so by law enforcement officials.
There are two main categories of disorderly conduct charges: improper behavior and offensive language, both require different defense strategies:
Endangering people in public places or causing alarm can justify a charge for improper behavior. This consists of injuring people or making threats to hurt people and violent or tumultuous behavior in a public place. If someone can't justify their behavior, disorderly conduct charges can be necessary. Behavior like a brawl in a bar, public intoxication or otherwise threatening street behavior would fall under this classification.
Speech-related disorderly conduct charges are significantly more difficult to prove. Police can charge a person for a petty disorderly persons offense if they participate in extremely loud, offensive or vicious language in a public space, with the intent of aggravating or disturbing whomever is nearby. A disorderly conduct attorney can help you dispute these allegations based on the biased nature of the offense.
A disorderly conduct arrest can result in up to $500 in fines and fees, community service, restitution charges and up to 30 days in the county jail.
Appear with NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer Carmine Villani
Rioting can lead to serious consequences, disorderly conduct charges and destructive backlash. Mr. Villani is a founding partner of Villani & DeLuca, P.C., and is a NJ disorderly conduct lawyer who has handled hundreds of disorderly conduct cases. When you work with Mr. Villani, you benefit from a legal team that understands every nuanced aspect of NJ disorderly conduct law. Mr. Villani will take the time to discuss the facts of your case. He will utilize his intimate knowledge of the NJ criminal law to make sure you receive the best legal strategy in defending your disorderly conduct charge. Call today for your free initial consultation at 732-709-7757.