Disorderly conduct is a relatively common offense in New Jersey, especially in areas known for their nightlife such as Atlantic City. Most disorderly conduct charges are alcohol-related, often arising from bar fights, rowdiness and yelling in the street, public intoxication, and the like. However, despite the fact that these types of charges are relatively commonplace throughout many parts of New Jersey like Atlantic City, a conviction for disorderly conduct will show up on your permanent criminal record and can result in serious consequences such as community service, probation, or even jail time. Since the criminal record and legal consequences associated with disorderly conduct charges can detrimentally impact your life and future, it is essential to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney if you are faced with disorderly conduct charges. You will need a powerful legal team in your corner to aggressively combat the charges against and minimize any potential impact on your life, job opportunities, current employment, and educational opportunities. At the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our highly skilled and knowledgeable attorneys have years of experience defending disorderly conduct charges in towns such as Galloway, Brigantine, Mullica, Somers Point, Hammonton, Buena Vista, or Egg Harbor Township, and are prepared to provide personal attention to you case in order to achieve the best possible result. We are often able to get these charges downgraded in order to avoid a criminal record, or dismissed entirely.
New Jersey Disorderly Conduct Laws
New Jersey’s legal definition of disorderly conduct is broad, intended to cover a wide variety of conduct. New Jersey law defines the offense of Disorderly Conduct as follows:
a. Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with a purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly create 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.
b. Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of doing so, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
(N.J.S.A. § 2C:33-2)
Because the legal definition of disorderly conduct under the New Jersey statute is so broad, county prosecutors often have a huge advantage over defendants charged with disorderly conduct since the law makes it easy to prove disorderly conduct. All that is required for a conviction is proof that you caused some sort of alarm, inconvenience to the public, or annoyance. Since one of the potential penalties for disorderly conduct, which is classified as a disorderly persons offense, is possible jail time of up to 30 days, and in order to avoid ending up with a criminal record that will follow you for the rest of your life, it is very important to work with a knowledgeable defense attorney who can effectively handle your case and negotiate the best possible outcome for you. The legal landscape of a disorderly conduct offense is often further convoluted by combining the disorderly conduct charges with other offenses like criminal mischief, simple assault, harassment, trespassing, or resisting arrest, making it even more important to retain a skilled defense attorney to navigate the system and properly handle your case. In addition to carefully honed skill and years of experience, many of our attorneys are also highly familiar with the ins and outs of the criminal justice system, having also worked as prosecutors.
Egg Harbor City NJ Disorderly Conduct Attorneys
If you have been arrested or charged with a disorderly conduct offense in Atlantic County, please call us for a free consultation. We are prepared to provide sound counsel on how we can best approach your case in order to avoid a criminal record and minimize the impact on your life. Call us at 1-877-450-8301 or e-mail us to arrange your free consultation today.