New Jersey Public Disturbance Attorney
Disorderly conduct charges apply to a wide variety of offensive behavior under New Jersey law. Examples of disorderly conduct often include public intoxication, threatening and fighting, using obscene language, and otherwise creating public disturbances.
I am Anthony N. Palumbo, a New Jersey criminal defense lawyer with nearly four decades of experience defending clients against disorderly conduct charges. If you've been arrested for disorderly conduct in Asbury Park, contact me today at 908-414-2307 to schedule a free initial consultation and learn how I can help in your case.
Disorderly Conduct Charges
There are two types of disorderly conduct offenses under New Jersey law: improper behavior and offensive language.
To be convicted of disorderly conduct for improper behavior, the offender must have:
- intended to cause a public inconvenience or alarm, or acted in a manner that recklessly created a risk of such public inconvenience or alarm; and
- engaged in fighting, threatening, or otherwise violent behavior; or
- created a hazardous or physically dangerous condition which served no legitimate purposes.
To be convicted of disorderly conduct for offensive language, the offender must have:
- acted in a public place with the intent to offend other people, or with reckless disregard of the probability of doing so; and
- spoken offensive or abusive language in an unreasonably loud voice, given the circumstances of the situation and the people present.
Charges for both types of disorderly conduct require the offender to have acted in a "public" location, which includes places such as highways, parks, and businesses, as well as other areas that are accessible by a substantial portion of the public. The prosecution must prove this element in order to obtain a conviction, so defendants may be able to fight their charges by arguing that the incident took place in private.
Disorderly Conduct Penalties and Expungement
Disorderly conduct is classified as a non-indictable petty disorderly persons offense and charges are typically handled in the municipality where the offensive behavior took place. The penalties for a conviction include a fine of up to $500, a sentence of up to 30 days in prison, possible community service, and possible probation.
Disorderly conduct convictions are eligible for expungement after five years, provided that the offender has not been convicted of any indictable crimes or more than three non-indictable crimes during that time period.
Why You Should Hire an Asbury Park Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorney
Although disorderly conduct is a relatively minor offense, convictions still carry significant penalties and can become part of your permanent criminal record. To avoid these consequences, speak with an Asbury Park criminal law attorney about defenses that might be available in your case, plea bargaining for reduced charges, and expungement procedures, should you be convicted. To schedule a free legal consultation and learn how an aggressive criminal defense attorney can help fight your disorderly conduct charges, contact the law offices of Palumbo & Renaud at 908-414-2307.