Roselle Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
January 30, 2020
Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorneys in Roselle, New Jersey
Since being the first-lighted town via Thomas Edison’s incandescent bulb, Roselle, New Jersey has grown to a borough inhabited by 22,000 people. Surrounded by towns in Union County such as Linden, Cranford, Union Township and Elizabeth, Roselle is busy with its own inhabitants as well as those just passing through by car or train. Because of the sheer number of people present daily, there are any number of situations that can happen requiring police involvement. Often, police try to intervene in heated or tense situations in an effort to control the conduct of the public, which results in charging people with disorderly conduct. When you or a loved one finds themselves accused of disorderly conduct in Roselle Borough, it is essential to understand the court process, the potential punishments for this petty disorderly persons offense, and to speak with an experienced Roselle criminal defense lawyer about your rights and options. Contact our attorneys for a free consultation by calling (908) 838-0150 or reaching out to us online today. A member of our defense team is always available to assist you.
Roselle Disorderly Conduct Charges
Disorderly conduct is an intentionally broad section of the law in New Jersey that allows police to charge you with an offense for a wide array of behaviors. Whether you are allegedly drunk and yelling on the sidewalk, throwing a punch, or happy and doing cartwheels in the street, you can be charged with disorderly conduct and face criminal prosecution in Roselle Municipal Court. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Roselle, you must understand the law and the impacts that such an offense can have on your record.
Disorderly conduct is defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2. The statute is divided into two sections namely, improper behavior and offensive language. Specifically, New Jersey makes it an offense to: purposely or recklessly cause, or create the risk of, public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, by engaging in fighting, threatening, or violent or tumultuous behavior. Additionally, it is an offense to create a hazardous or dangerous situation that serves no legitimate purpose. It is also an offense to use offensive language in public. Specifically, anyone who is in a public place and whose purpose is to offend the listener, or who disregards that he may offend another by using unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense.
Common Reasons for Disorderly Conduct Offenses in Roselle NJ
If you are in a public setting (not your home or private residence), and there is an allegation that you caused public inconvenience or offended the sensibilities of another, you can be charged. Because this statute is a broad and largely encompassing law, as you may imagine, it results in thousands of people being charged each year. Some common facts leading to a charge include:
- Cursing or using foul or course language
- Yelling or Screaming
- Drunken behavior (i.e. stumbling, yelling, urinating in public)
- Walking in the roadway
- Not obeying police or security staff instructions
- Creating a situation that negatively attracts the attention of the public
- Disturbing the peace
Charged with Disorderly Conduct in Roselle, What is the Penalty?
In some circumstances, clients and attorneys wish to downgrade more serious charges such as felonies to disorderly conduct. But in many cases, a person charged with disorderly conduct does not see it in a positive light and wishes to fight the charge. Before making an educated decision regarding the charges, you must understand what type of crime or quasi-crime disorderly conduct is.
In New Jersey, criminal offenses are broken up into indictable crimes (felonies), disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) and petty disorderly persons offenses (abbreviated as “pdp’s”). A pdp is the lowest form of an offense that you can be charged with. While not a felony, it can have a substantial impact on your life. For example, if charged with disorderly conduct in Roselle, you will attend Roselle Municipal Court at 210 Chestnut Street.
If convicted of the pdp of disorderly conduct in Municipal Court, you can spend up 30 days in the Union County Jail. Additionally, if convicted, you will be ordered to pay a $75 safe neighborhood fund fee, $50 Victims of Crime Agency fee, $33 in court costs, $6 in assessments and up to $500 in discretionary fines. To make matters worse, the offense, while only a pdp, will show up on your criminal record. Therefore, the risky behavior that led to the charge may cause employers to take heed in hiring you thereby causing them to bypass you and move on to the next applicant with better credentials and no record. Fortunately, all is not lost, as there are ways to resolve the case without a conviction.
How to Resolve a Roselle Disorderly Conduct Case
In some circumstances, you may not want to plead to disorderly conduct for reasons best known to you. We will discuss your case with you and try to fashion an approach that works to your benefit and is tailored to your needs. This could include pleading to something that is not a criminal offense, such as a municipal ordinance. Every town across the state enacts ordinances that require you to act or not act in a certain way. A violation of a town ordinance may require a financial assessment or fine only and no criminal charge. For example, perhaps the town has a noise ordinance and instead of pleading to disorderly conduct, you can plead to violating the ordinance. The noise ordinance will not result in a crime being reported on your record.
Another way to resolve the case without a criminal offense on your record is to obtain a dismissal by completing a diversionary program (available for first-time offenders). Similarly, if the case cannot resolve by way of discharge or ordinance, we can fight the charges by forcing the state to go to trial. At a trial, the state must produce the witness who was “offended” or harmed by your conduct. If they fail to appear for trial, we will file a motion to dismiss the case. Often, the people that are allegedly wronged by your conduct have no real interest in your case and simply ignore notices to attend court. However, if all else fails or you decide to plead guilty, the charges can eventually be wiped from your record through an expungement.
Can I get a Roselle Disorderly Conduct Charge Expunged?
New Jersey law allows for certain crimes and offenses to be expunged. An expungement means that the record of the offense will be permanently deleted from every public system to make it appear that you were never in the system or had police contact. To obtain an expungement for disorderly conduct, under the general rule, you must wait 5 years from the date that you complete your sentence and fines. In some circumstances, you may apply for early expungement in as little as three years. While an expungement makes it appear that nothing ever happened, there are some circumstances in which you must advise of the expungement, such as employment with law enforcement or the courts.
Find a Roselle NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer in Your Local Area
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Roselle, we can take the burden and stress from you by appearing on your behalf, discussing the case, filing motions, and even conducting a trial. More importantly, we can advise you on the law and the impacts that the charges may have upon your future. Regardless of the situation, when you have been accused of improper behavior or offensive language, our criminal defense attorneys provide the guidance necessary to make an educated decision. If you or a loved one have been charged with disorderly conduct, contact our office today at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation with a local Roselle lawyer who will fight for your best outcome.