Roselle NJ Disorderly Persons Offense Attorney
June 10, 2020
If you have been charged with a criminal offense in Roselle, New Jersey, there is a good chance that it is a disorderly persons offense. In fact, the majority of criminal offenses in Roselle are disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly offenses. In 2018, any person charged with a criminal offense was 4 four times more likely to be charged with a disorderly or petty offense than an indictable felony crime. Approximately 1,724 criminal offenses were filed against individuals during the period of July of 2018 to June of 2019. Out of this number, only 257 complaints involved indictable felony charges, while a whopping 1,080 involved disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses. This trend continued from July of 2019 through April of 2020, as only 217 indictable complaints were filed, as opposed to 766 criminal misdemeanors. Disorderly persons offenses are heard in Roselle Municipal Court, and chances are that your case will move forward swiftly.
The fact is that Roselle Municipal Court and municipal courts across the state are focused on handling disorderly persons cases, moving them through the court system, and avoiding a backlog. As a result, the cases can move quickly, whether you are ready or not. Do not be caught off guard while charged with a disorderly persons offense in the Borough of Roselle. While these are relatively low-level offenses, anyone found guilty of such an offense is exposed to jail time, significant fines and penalties, as well as other collateral damage. Contact our Union County criminal defense lawyers if you would like to discuss a disorderly persons charge and find out more about your options. We provide free consultations and encourage you to call (908) 838-0150 or contact us online now.
Disorderly Persons Offenses in Roselle NJ
If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense in Roselle, the first step in understanding your case is knowing what it means to be charged with a disorderly persons offense. A disorderly persons offense is considered a criminal offense in New Jersey. It is not a felony crime but you do face punishment if convicted. The law defines conduct constituting a disorderly persons offense through enactment of statutes, as the state seeks to punish those who violate the law. Generally, conduct that harms another in some way is always prohibited. But for disorderly persons offenses, the harm is considered less serious than felony offenses. For example, if you slap your partner in a domestic dispute, you may be charged with simple assault, a disorderly persons offense. On the other hand, if you hit someone with your car, breaking their legs, you may be charged with felony assault by auto and could go to state prison as a result.
All DP’s are generally charges involving less troublesome behavior and are heard in Roselle Municipal Court. The following disorderly persons offense charges occur on a regular basis in Roselle: Simple assault, Trespassing, Shoplifting, Possessing less than 50 grams of marijuana, Possession of drug paraphernalia, Being under the influence of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), Petty theft, Criminal mischief, Joyriding, Resisting arrest, Obstruction of law, and Lewdness. There are also frequently filed petty disorderly persons offenses for which you may face charges in Roselle, such as harassment.
If you have been charged with one of the above offenses, you will be required to appear in court. The court will hear the evidence, listen to testimony, and determine your guilt or innocence. Often, before you ever get to a trial, the parties will try to work out the case. Fortunately, you have the option to hire a lawyer before you even appear in court. In addition, if you have your first appearance, you can request that the court provide you with time to enlist legal counsel.
Punishments for a Roselle Disorderly Persons Offense
Punishments can range from as little as a conditional dismissal to as much as 180 days in the county jail. If it is your first offense and you are eligible, you may receive a conditional discharge in which the charges will be dismissed if all conditions are met. Conditional dismissal or discharge will show up on your record as dismissed once completed and they can be expunged in less time than a conviction. Additionally, the case can sometimes be resolved by payment of a fine, restitution, probation in lieu of jail, or a dispute resolution program. The possible sentences and resolutions on disorderly persons cases include the following:
- Probation up to 5 years with conditions such as paying restitution, community service, substance abuse evaluation, anger management etc.
- Acquittal at a trial: being found not guilty
- Dismissal of the case after a motion (ie. suppression, failure to provide discovery, failure to prosecute)
- Conditional dismissal or conditional discharge: after you fulfill all conditions, your charges are dismissed
- 180 days in jail at most
- Combination of jail and probation
- $1,000 fine at the highest amount
- Court costs, fees, and mandatory penalties.
The judge may choose to sentence you to a combination of the above, or instead, he or she may fashion a sentence deemed appropriate given the nature of the offense. We know and understand how the court works and can help minimize the negative impacts that the charges can have on you, your job, your immigration status (if applicable), and your family.
Whatever the situation may be, one advantage to being charged with a DP is that you are not ever facing state prison time. Another advantage is that you must wait less time than a felony to have your record expunged. If convicted of a disorderly persons offense, you can expunge your record in five years. On the other hand, if you receive conditional discharge, you are eligible for expungement in as little as six months. Moreover, in the best-case scenario, a dismissal is expungeable immediately.
Disorderly Persons Offense Defense Lawyers in Roselle New Jersey
There are advantages and disadvantages to almost everything in court and in life. The trick is being informed, making educated decisions, and having a skilled criminal defense attorney on your side. Our Roselle criminal attorneys are ready to handle what comes your way no matter what after you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense, whether it’s at the speed of lightening or a turtle’s pace. When handling a case, we start with a thorough review, challenge the evidence, speak with the prosecutor, explain the charges to you, and seek the top outcome possible. Our lawyers have the knowledge to help you handle a disorderly persons case in Roselle Municipal Court and can answer your questions about what to expect next. Contact us at (908) 838-0150 today for a free consultation.