Union Township Disorderly Conduct Lawyers
December 4, 2019
The Union Township Municipal Court handles many disorderly conduct cases every year, as the offense is so broad that it applies to people in a myriad of situations in New Jersey. New Jersey law includes a “catch-all” type charge that covers a broad range of rowdy behaviors, and the penalties associated with a disorderly conduct charge can be surprisingly severe. Most of us have had nights that get out of hand. Whether you are accused of having a little too much to drink in public, getting too aggressive at a sports bar after your team takes a loss, or shouting threats at someone during a heated argument, there are so many situations that can lead to disorderly conduct charges. Unfortunately, these violations of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 can have serious consequences that may last for years to come. If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Union Township, NJ, our talented team of attorneys is here to fight your charges and seek the best possible results. Contact our local offices for immediate assistance and a free consultation today: (908) 838-0150.
What is a Disorderly Conduct Charge in Union NJ?
New Jersey law criminalizes a broad range of potentially dangerous and belligerent behavior. The state’s disorderly conduct statute essentially prohibits causing public disturbances or fighting. If you shout threats against someone at a bar, get into a shoving match that disturbs other patrons, a break glass on purpose, or even swear at supporters of a rival team at a sports event, you can be charged with disorderly conduct. A prosecutor must simply prove that you took any of these actions (swearing, fighting, shoving, breaking glasses, etc.) and that you carried them out either on purpose or in a situation where it was clear that you did not care whether you were disturbing people or not, and you can be convicted of disorderly conduct. Arguably, the most important thing a prosecutor must prove to establish a disorderly conduct charge is that your rowdy behavior took place in public. If you were at a private house party, for example, or in an area not accessible to the general public like your living room, the prosecutor may have trouble proving that you caused a public disturbance.
What is Considered Disorderly Conduct in Union New Jersey?
It is common to see disorderly conduct charges in instances where you may have been drunk and allegedly resisted a police officer’s instructions to leave a bar, public area, or other location. In actuality, this charge can be applied to any number of situations involving public disturbances or drunken behavior, from people losing their heads at a concert, to aggressive behavior in public at a little league game. Individuals who were first charged with simple assault can sometimes get their original assault charges reduced to disorderly conduct charges, which are less serious. This often happens in a situation like a bar fight where two or more people were punching, kicking, and shoving one another. An experienced lawyer can help you get your simple assault downgraded to disorderly conduct in many cases, so it’s important to discuss this as a possible option.
What Penalty am I Facing for Disorderly Conduct in Union Township?
Given the broad range of relatively common conduct covered by the disorderly conduct statute, you may be surprised to learn that a conviction results in a criminal record and can carry up to 30 days in Union County jail, a $500 fine, and potentially other fees and court assessments. These harsh penalties can apply to any disorderly conduct conviction, even though the case is tried in a municipal court, as the conviction is classified as a “petty disorderly persons offense,” which is a legal term for a lower-level misdemeanor offense.
Union NJ Disorderly Conduct Attorney Needed
Given the serious repercussions you face, it is not in your best interest to simply plead guilty to the disorderly conduct charge against you without consulting a lawyer first. Our attorneys have been successfully getting disorderly conduct charges dismissed and downgraded in Union Township and others towns in New Jersey for years and we’re here to assist you. Call (908) 838-0150 for a free initial consultation and we will review your case to make sure you have the best access to legal counsel.