Garwood NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
Disorderly Conduct in the Borough of Garwood
Arguing loudly in public, fighting, blocking sidewalks or antagonizing others to violence can result in your being charged with disorderly conduct in Garwood or another municipality. The statute defining disorderly conduct is broadly worded to cover a large range of disruptive behavior. While disorderly conduct is a relatively minor charge compared to other criminal offenses, you should not be fooled into believing that this offense is so minor that you can simply walk into Garwood Municipal Court, represent yourself, and plead guilty without significant consequences. A conviction can lead to a 30-day jail sentence, a hefty fine, and a criminal record. In order to avoid these consequences, you need the guidance of a knowledgeable disorderly conduct lawyer. We are the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall a team of former prosecutors and knowledgeable attorneys. We have over a century of collective experience handling disorderly conduct charges in Garwood and other municipalities in Union County. Our team of lawyers will ensure that you get the best outcome for your case, which could include complete dismissal of the offense, a downgrade to a municipal ordinance which negates a record or admission into Conditional Dismissal. Find out what legal options are available to you by speaking to an attorney at our firm. Contact us at 908-272-1700 for a free consultation 24/7.
Disorderly Conduct Offense in the Borough of Garwood
The offense of disorderly conduct is set forth in New Jersey statute N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2. The statute provides as follows:
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, both “improper behavior” and “offensive language” can constitute disorderly conduct under the statute. The statute purposely includes broad terms like “violent or tumultuous behavior” and “unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language.”
Possible ways to defend against a disorderly conduct charge. Although the terms are broad, the lawyers at our firm have consistent success mounting a defense to this charge by challenging the reason why a person behaved in the way he did. Under “improper behavior,” note that the person’s purpose for his conduct must be to “cause public inconvenience.” If there is some other purpose to the conduct at issue then a prosecutor would have difficulty proving that the person intended to cause public inconvenience. Similarly, if a person used profanity in the privacy of his own home, or did not have a “purpose to offend the sensibilities” of someone in earshot, then it is possible that disorderly conduct cannot be proven. A Marshall Firm lawyer will be sure to evaluate those defenses when reviewing your case.
What is a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense? As the statute provides, disorderly conduct is considered a petty disorderly persons offense. The recommended sentence for a petty disorderly persons offense is up to 30 days in jail, and up to a $500 fine.
Garwood Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorney
Mistakes happen. Sometimes we show our temper in public, and that can lead to an incident in which you get a ticket or summons for disorderly conduct in Garwood. In order to avoid having that mistake turn into a criminal record consult with an defense attorney who knows how to defend a disorderly conduct offense. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have handled many disorderly conduct cases, and we can give you the benefit of our background having seen so many different situations. With that perspective, our attorneys can give you sound advice as to what the best strategy would be and whether you are able to have the charges dismissed. Call us at 908-272-1700 for a initial consultation with a lawyer.