Arrested In Camden County For Disorderly Conduct
One of the most broadly constructed laws someone can be subjected to in Camden County is disorderly conduct. Whether the charge stems from a heavy night at a concert at Susquehanna Bank Center, a lapse in judgment at the Camden Campus of Rutgers University, or any other unfortunate circumstance, a conviction for disorderly conduct results in a criminal conviction that will follow you around for years. You may have thought little when the incident was unfolding or may not have even done anything wrong but voice your displeasure to a police officer, but now you must prepare a defense if you want to keep your future intact. This is where our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, can be so helpful. Our office is comprised of 8 criminal attorneys, including several former prosecutors, who routinely avoid guilty findings for disorderly conduct in Camden Municipal Court and other others in the county. If you have been arrested or charged with violating N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2, call our Cherry Hill disorderly conduct attorneys now for a free initial consultation. We can be reached 24/7 at 856-662-8300.
Under the New Jersey Disorderly Conduct Law, a person can commit this violation in three different circumstances. The first of these two encompass things which are deemed to be improper behavior by the law and the third has to do with the use of offensive language. Whether the charge is based on alleged improper behavior or offensive language, the conduct must be in public to give rise to a violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2. “Public” means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access. This includes highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement or any neighborhood. With these basic principles in mind, we will discuss each variety of disorderly conduct in further detail so that you adequately understand the charge you may be facing in Audubon, Collingswood, Haddonfield, Lindenwold or elsewhere in Camden County.
Gloucester Township Disorderly Conduct Charge For Improper Behavior
As mentioned above, there are two varieties of improper behavior that can result in a disorderly conduct charge in Gloucester Township and both require that the defendant have a purpose to cause or recklessly create a risk of causing public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm. The first of these two types of improper behaviors is engaging in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior. Fighting cannot be committed singly but requires the participation of two or more persons. Threatening encompasses both verbal and physical threats. Violent or tumultuous behavior is not defined. One commentator has given as an example of this type of behavior: the person who runs up and down the corridors of an office building, but largely this will be an ad hoc determination by the court whether your actions have risen to the level of violent or tumultuous. The second type of these improper behaviors are actions that create a hazardous or physically dangerous condition which serves no legitimate purpose to the defendant. Consequentially, there is no offense if the defendant merely obstructs or interferes with others, but does not create a hazardous or physically dangerous condition. Similarly, there is no offense if a person creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition that serves a legitimate purpose. For instance, if you maintain a garbage dump, while it may become a nuisance, it would not be disorderly conduct so long as it serves a legitimate purpose to the person who created it. So in order for this type of improper behavior to be disorderly conduct, the State must prove that there is a hazardous or physically dangerous condition and its creation and or maintenance serves no legitimate purpose for the defendant.
Disorderly Conduct Violation For Offensive Language In Pennsauken NJ
The second category of Pennsauken disorderly conduct set forth under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 involves the use of offensive language in public. The statute defines this aspect of disorderly persons offense in the following manner: A person commits disorderly conduct in this manner if they have 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 coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.” A limit, however, on the applicability of this part of the statute is the Constitution of the United States. The section of the Code of Criminal Justice which makes a person guilty of disorderly conduct by using coarse or abusive conduct which offends the sensibilities of a listener has been held to be unconstitutionally overbroad in State in Interest of H.D., 206 N.J.Super. 58, 61 (App. Div. 1985). For a prohibition against offensive speech, therefore, to be constitutional the state must be required to prove the offensive language was uttered in a public place and the language was such that it is likely to invite the hearer to an immediate breach of the peace. When the language is directed specifically at another individual and is of such a nature and uttered under such circumstances as is likely to result in an immediate breach of the peace, it may be constitutionally proscribed.
Penalties That Apply To Camden Disorderly Conduct
As stated above, disorderly conduct is charged as a disorderly persons offense. A charge falling within this grade of a criminal offense can result in as much as 6 months in the county jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Another consequence of a disorderly conduct conviction is a record that will be discoverable by every individual or entity performing a criminal background check in the future.
Camden Disorderly Conduct Attorneys
Disorderly behavior is common and occurs all the time in Camden. This kind of discourse is probably to be expected given the almost 80,000 residents in the City and many others that visit this destination. Camden Municipal Court hears literally hundreds, if not thousands, of complaints alleging disorderly conduct almost every year. If you have the misfortune of being charged with disorderly conduct in Cherry Hill, Berlin, Stratford, Winslow, Haddon Township or another municipality in the county, call our Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Office for immediate assistance. A former prosecutor and skilled attorney on our staff will be more than happy to assist you. Call us anytime at 856-662-8300.