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Disorderly Conduct

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Disorderly Conduct Lawyer Princeton, NJ

New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Offers Free Consultation for Clients Charged with Disorderly Conduct in Mercer County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, and Burlington County, NJ

Disorderly conduct charges cover a broad range of behaviors that are not considered to rise to the level of criminal acts in New Jersey, but with respect to which the courts and legislature have decided that punishment by potential jail time and monetary fines is appropriate. New Jersey law punishes disorderly conduct as a petty disorderly persons offense, meaning that the court may impose up to 30 days of jail time and up to $500 in monetary fines. Because the statute governing disorderly conduct is extremely broad and vague, it can apply to a wide variety of actions. If you have been arrested or charged with disorderly conduct in Lawrence, Trenton, Hamilton, South Brunswick, or anywhere else in NJ, a skilled Princeton disorderly conduct attorney can help you fight the charge to avoid the scar of conviction on your permanent record.

At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, New Jersey, I have substantial experience defending individuals who have been accused of disorderly conduct. Although the law may classify these offenses as the most minor of infractions, I understand the importance of avoiding conviction even for a petty disorderly persons offense. A conviction can show up on a criminal background check to create future embarrassment, as well as difficulties in obtaining employment or even housing. I take these charges seriously, and I will fight to help you avoid conviction if at all possible in your case.

Disorderly Conduct Is a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense in Mercer County, NJ

Disorderly conduct is a sort of “catch all” offense that can encompass a wide range of behaviors, from a bar fight with a friend to using offensive language. N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 defines disorderly conduct as improper behavior that the individual commits with the purpose of causing public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof. Statutory examples of improper behavior include:

  • Fighting or threatening, or violent or tumultuous behavior.
  • Creating a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
  • Addressing any person in unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, evaluated based on the circumstances of the persons present and the setting in which the action took place, if the action took place in public and with the purpose of offending the sensibilities of a hearer, or in reckless disregard of the probability of offending persons present.

“Public” for this purpose is defined as affecting, or likely to affect, persons in any place where the public generally has access.

A Skilled New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Can Help Minimize Penalties in Trenton Disorderly Conduct Cases

At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I vigorously defend against conviction for disorderly conduct in each client’s case. Many clients who are accused of these types of offenses may feel that they have few options available to avoid conviction because of the necessarily public nature of the offense itself. In cases where the client is willing to plead guilty, I will weigh the value of petitioning the court to approve conditional dismissal as an alternative to conviction. While conditional dismissal requires admission of guilt, it can allow the individual to keep his or her criminal record clean.

Conditional dismissal is available in certain disorderly conduct cases where the accused individual is a first-time offender and the nature and circumstances of the offense indicate that it is appropriate. Disorderly conduct offenses committed against an elderly, disabled, or minor victim will generally not be considered for the conditional dismissal program, nor will charges involving domestic violence or gang activity. Conditional dismissal allows the accused individual to avoid jail time and a future criminal record, but it still mandates payment of all required monetary fees, in addition to a $75 application fee.

Schedule an Appointment with Skilled Hamilton Criminal Defense Attorney Lauren E. Scardella in Your NJ Disorderly Conduct Case

At the Law Offices of Lauren E. Scardella in Hamilton, NJ, I take the time to personally evaluate and explain all possible options in your Lawrence disorderly conduct case. Contact my office at 609-587-1144 to schedule a free initial consultation today in order to discuss options in your disorderly conduct case, or fill out this online form and I will respond promptly. I accept all major credit cards, and I offer flexible scheduling for your convenience. The law firm office is located at 2653 Nottingham Way STE 1, Hamilton Township, NJ 08619.

Frequently Asked Questions About NJ Disorderly Conduct Charges

Will conditional dismissal expunge a disorderly conduct conviction from my record?

Upon successful completion of a conditional dismissal program, which can include drug testing, avoidance of subsequent arrests, and paying all required monetary fines, the charges against you may be dismissed. The record of your arrest will remain, but it can be expunged after a period of time has elapsed.

Am I eligible for conditional dismissal of a disorderly conduct charge if I have a clean record in New Jersey but was convicted of a crime in Pennsylvania?

Probably not. Your criminal records in all states are relevant in determining whether you are a first-time offender in New Jersey, so if you have previously been convicted of crimes or offenses in other states, they will count in determining whether conditional dismissal or other diversionary programs are available in your NJ disorderly conduct case.

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