A Former Prosecutor Who Is Skilled In Defending Disorderly Conduct Charges In Hudson County Is Available For A Free Consultation By Contacting Our Jersey City Or Hoboken Office
The City of Hoboken is notorious for disorderly conduct charges. Jersey City also has hundreds of these offenses processed annually, largely as the result of the nature of its significant population (i.e. 2nd in the state). Our attorneys defend many individual charged with disorderly conduct in these and other towns in Hudson County. The charge often arises as the result of some form of conflict with a police officer although there are any number of situations where someone can end up being arrested. The key advise you need to keep in mind is that disorderly conduct is a criminal offense that results in a record and the potential for jail if you are convicted. Hiring an attorney that knows the terrain in municipal courts such as Secaucus, Hoboken, Jersey City, Weehawken and Bayonne can help you secure a dismissal and/or a downgrade so that a conviction and jail are avoided.
The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall possesses a team of defense lawyers with over 150 years of combined experience, including decades serving as prosecutors. We also have strong ties to municipalities in the county, including West New York, Jersey City and North Bergen, where family members have even served on the police forces. The point is that we know how to navigate the court system, defend charges involving disorderly conduct, simple assault, resisting arrest and similar companion offenses, and are ready to discuss your case in detail. Initial consultations with a lawyer at the firm are free so do not hesitate to contact us if you are facing an offense. Call 201-309-0500 to speak to a criminal litigator now.
Disorderly Conduct Offense in Hudson County
The New Jersey disorderly conduct law is directed at a wide variety of conduct that occurs in public and poses a threat to public peace and order. Whether your arrest was wrongful in your mind, the legitimate result of poor behavior or is something you really cannot even recall because of alcohol, drugs or some other circumstance, N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 is the statute that the prosecutor shall utilize to pursue a conviction. This law statues that:
a. Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
(2) 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 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.
“Public” means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the 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.
As you can see, there are two separate pedigrees of disorderly conduct set forth in 2C:33-2. The conduct or words given rise to a disorderly conduct charge must be in “public” under either scenario in order to support a conviction.
Proving Improper Behavior. In terms of the improper behavior, the prosecutor must establish, beyond reasonable doubt, that the accused: (1) engaged in conduct; (2) in public; (3) with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof; (4) by engaging in fighting, threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior, or by creating a hazardous or physically dangerous condition that serves no legitimate purpose.
Proving Offensive Language. Offensive language results in violation of the disorderly orderly conduct statute if: (1) it is in public; (2) is with the purpose to offend or is in reckless disregard of the probability to do so; and (3) is unreasonably loud o r offensive coarse or abusive.
Key New Jersey Cases Addressing Disorderly Conduct. State v. Stampone is probably the most famous decision involve disorderly conduct. In Stampone, the accused was stopped by the police and did not like what the way he was being treated. He offered some unpleasant words and slammed the door of his car closed. The court dismissed the offense since the conduct was neither tumultuous (i.e. “disorderly and violent movement, agitation or milling about of a crowd, usually with great uproar and confusion of voices, a noisy and turbulent popular uprising, a riot.”) nor in the presence of the “public”. Another key case is State in the Interests of H.D., which is directed at prosecutions for “offensive langugage” under 2C:33-2. In dismissing the disorderly conduct offense, the court emphasized that the words of the accused must be “likely, in the light of the gender and age of the listener and the setting of the utterance, to affect the sensibilities of a hearer” or there is no violation.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct. There are a slew of potential penalties that may be imposed if you are convicted of this petty disorderly persons offense in North Bergen, Union City, Hoboken, Jersey City, Secaucus or another municipal court. You may be fined up to $500, will have to pay mandatory assessments such as a VCCB assessment of $50, Safe Neighborhood Assessment of $75, court costs of $33, may be placed on probation, have your driver’s license suspended and can also be sent to the county jail for up to 30 days. The biggest consequence of being found guilty of disorderly orderly conduct is probably, however, the resulting criminal record that will follow you for many years.
Avoiding Prosecution for Disorderly Conduct. The Conditional Dismissal program gives first time offenders the ability to be placed on probation for a year and, if they complete this supervision without issue, the criminal charge is dismissed.
Secaucus NJ Disorderly Conduct Attorney
As you can tell from this discussion, the Legislature has left the offense of disorderly conduct extremely vague, in an effort to sweep as much conduct within its grasp. If you or someone you know has been charged with a disorderly conduct, simple assault, obstructing the administration of law or similar offense in a local town like Bayonne, Kearny, Jersey City or Hoboken, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can help. A lawyer with the experience and knowledge to successfully defend your rights is unquestionably here at our firm. The ten (10) lawyers on our team have almost two centuries in practice and have handled thousands of disorderly conduct cases throughout the state, including in Secaucus. If you would like a free initial consultation with one of the criminal defense attorneys on staff, please contact our Hoboken Office or Jersey City Office at (201) 309-1800. An attorney is available 24/7 to assist you.