Union NJ Disorderly Persons Offenses
April 29, 2020
Disorderly Persons Offense Attorneys in Union Township NJ
If you have received a notice to appear in Union Township Municipal Court, you may have been charged with a disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense. Such offenses, whether you are found guilty or not, will be listed on your criminal history when a background check is run, and can have negative consequences both now and in the future. Criminal complaints filed or downgraded to Union Township Municipal Court are common, as this extremely busy court processes thousands of criminal charges, traffic violations, and DWI cases every year. The types of disorderly and petty disorderly offenses heard in Union Township vary, as do the sentences that people receive when convicted. As for the potential consequences for a disorderly persons offense in Union, New Jersey, you can be sentenced to up to 6 months in jail or avoid a criminal conviction altogether, depending on the facts of your case and whether you have an experienced Union criminal defense lawyer representing you. For a free consultation with a local attorney who can advise and assist you, call us at (908) 838-0150 today.
Disorderly Persons Offense Charges in Union, New Jersey
Union Township is well-situated and accessible by Routes 22 and 82, Interstate 78, the Garden State Parkway, and by train through Union Station. It is located in Union County and surrounded by eight towns, namely: Hillside, Elizabeth, Roselle Park, Kenilworth, Springfield Township, Millburn, Maplewood and Irvington. On any given day, Union is bustling with commuters, residents, and those just driving through or stopping in at stores and restaurants. Because of the popularity of the area, arrests are common and disorderly persons complaints are frequently filed by officers from the Union Township Police Department and New Jersey State Police.
Union Township Municipal Court, located at 981 Caldwell Avenue, is designated as the court in this town that handles lower- level criminal offenses. These offenses are either disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses and not considered indictable (felony) crimes by law in New Jersey. Indictable crimes are more serious criminal offenses for which you must attend Union County Superior Court.
That being said, disorderly persons offenses are not limited to any one type of conduct. In fact, they span the spectrum from assault crimes to property crimes, and more. Various forms of legally prohibited conduct will result in different types of disorderly persons offenses, among the most common of which are:
- Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana
- Simple assault
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Theft (less than $200);
- Failure to turnover drugs to the police
- Receiving stolen property valued at less than $200
- Criminal mischief (resulting in damage less than $200)
In addition, Union has heavier retail traffic than towns without such popular stores as Target, ShopRite, and Walmart. As such, charges for shoplifting are common in Union Township and often graded as disorderly persons offenses. If you are arrested for shoplifting items worth less than $200, you will be charged with a disorderly persons offense and required to appear in municipal court.
What is a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense in Union?
Petty disorderly persons offenses are the lowest form of criminal offense in New Jersey. These offenses are generally committed against a person or the general public. For example, harassment and disorderly conduct are frequently charged petty disorderly persons offenses in Union Municipal Court. Also, charges for harassment are frequently the basis for the filing of restraining orders heard in Union County Family Court.
Charged with a Disorderly Persons Offense in Union NJ, What Happens if I’m Convicted?
If you are found guilty of committing a disorderly persons offense, you can be sentenced to county jail for as much as 6 months. Upon release or conviction with no jail time, you will be left with a criminal record. Aside from court costs and $125 in mandatory fines, you could be forced to pay as much as $1,000 in discretionary fines. If you are charged with a drug offense, add another $500 in mandatory fines, a possible license suspension, and the cost of monthly probation supervision fees if so ordered. In cases resulting in probation for drugs, you may be subject to random drug testing and regular reporting to your probation office For other offenses like shoplifting, there is mandatory community service. And, if someone suffered a loss because of your alleged conduct, you could be forced to pay restitution to the victim.
For a petty disorderly persons offense, the penalties are similar but slightly less than those explained above. Specifically, a jail sentence of 30 days can be imposed, as well as the following: fines up to $500, mandatory penalties of $125, court costs, a probationary term and the cost of supervision.
As bleak as it may sound to be charged with a disorderly persons offense in Union Township, there are many ways in which the case can be resolved and you may be able to avoid jail time and a criminal record. For instance, if you have no existing criminal history, you can potentially take advantage of the conditional discharge program or conditional dismissal program. Through these diversionary programs, the court will eventually dismiss your charges after you fulfill all requirements. Additionally, if the charges are dismissed, you can then have your record expunged to remove any trace of this incident from your past.
Court for a Disorderly Persons Offense in Union Township, Who can Help?
If you or a loved one is facing municipal charges for a disorderly persons offense in Union, New Jersey, contact us now to speak with a lawyer who can help. Our Union Township criminal defense attorneys can help put you in a better position in court and we will be by your side through the entire legal process. We have defended countless clients in Union Township Municipal Court and will put all of our experience to work on your behalf. Call (908) 838-0150 for more information. Consultations are available 24/7 and provided free of charge.