Cranford NJ Disorderly Conduct Attorney
Disorderly conduct is one of the most frequently encountered criminal charges in Union County Municipal Courts. The offense applies to a wide variety of behavior including engaging in loud and “unruly” conduct. The experience of our attorneys is that the broad range of the New Jersey Disorderly Conduct Law leads to the violation being overcharged, meaning that summons are issued more often than they should be for disorderly conduct. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, including former municipal prosecutors in more than 20 towns, have dealt with countless cases of overreaching by police who are irritated by someone who asked questions, are uncooperative, or are unwilling to immediately submit to their demands. The statute only applies, however, to instances where someone actually engages in ” improper behavior ” or uses ” offensive language ” in public. If you were charged with disorderly conduct in Cranford, Westfield, Summit, Roselle, Scotch Plains or another local community, an attorney at our firm with the knowledge and familiarity with the court system to escape a conviction is ready to help you. A lawyer on our defense team is successful in achieving this objective in an extremely high percentage of case. For a free consultation with someone on our staff, contact our Union New Jersey Office at 908-272-1700.
What Is Considered “Improper Behavior” Under The Disorderly Conduct Law
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 is often utilized by police as a catchall given its expansive language. Subsection (a) sets forth those instances where “improper behavior” results in a violation. In this regard, the law states that:
a. Improper Behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with the 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.
To give rise to a conviction, the conduct must, at a very minimum, inconvenience the public. The term “public” is defined under this law as likely to affect persons located in a place of public access including, but not limited to, a street, park, town hall, or any other location to which the public is invited. In addition to the required element of being in public, the conduct must be with the purpose to cause or recklessly causing a negative impact of the public.
What Constitutes “Offensive Language” Under This Law?
As previously stated, 2C:33-2 also prohibits the use of offensive language in public. This form of violation is contained in subsection (b) of the statute, which states:
b. Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with 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 persons present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
In order for the words to be actionable under this law, they must be of such a nature as to invite an immediate breach of peace. The words must to likely to instigate violence from the members of the public present at the time of the speech.
Penalties For Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly conduct falls within the grading of a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense. The maximum penalties include up to six (6) months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. There is also the very significant ramification of a criminal record that cannot be expunged for a minimum of five (5) years.
Westfield NJ Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer
A conviction for disorderly conduct in the municipal court of Elizabeth, Linden, Plainfield, Springfield, Roselle Park or another town can have much more significant ramifications than individuals anticipate. You will not only have a record that will be visible to employers, lenders, etc., but will also be exposed to a possible county jail term. With consequences as significant as these, it is certainly in your best interests to contact our experienced defense attorneys, particularly when you consider that we are able to avoid a conviction to this offense in most cases. A lawyer at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is available 24/7 to assist individual charged with disorderly conduct. Call 908-272-1700 Call us now for an immediate free consultation.
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