Westfield NJ Disorderly Conduct Charges and Defense
June 24, 2020
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Westfield, New Jersey, you are most likely scheduled for an upcoming appearance in Westfield Municipal Court. You should know the consequences of being convicted of this petty disorderly persons offense and what you can do to defend your rights and your interests. Our local Westfield disorderly conduct attorneys have experience handling criminal charges for improper behavior, offensive language, and disturbing the peace. We know the common tactics used to prosecute these cases, as well as the potential pitfalls of ill-advised plea deals and the inadvertent consequences that you face upon conviction. Instead of going alone, contact our office for a free consultation with a lawyer who can help you navigate the legal process ahead. You can reach us online or by calling (908) 838-0150 now to learn more.
Disorderly Conduct Offenses in Westfield, New Jersey
The simple fact is that almost anyone can be charged with an offense violation NJSA 2C:33-2, as it is intended to apply to a range of seemingly trivial behavior. If you combine the high number of people who live, work, visit, and travel through the Township of Westfield, with the volatile nature of common situations, you have a good chance of committing the offense of disorderly conduct with or without your knowledge. Specifically, disorderly conduct is any behavior that disrupts or could disrupt another person in a public setting. By law, you may be charged with disorderly conduct for “improper behavior” or “offensive language” in Westfield and throughout New Jersey.
If you intentionally or recklessly fight with another; display unruly or disruptive behavior; if your conduct creates a dangerous situation for no reason; or if you intend to, or do in fact, offend another person by using foul language in a public place, you may find yourself facing disorderly conduct charges. As long as you are in a public place acting with no legitimate purpose, you may be issued a summons for this offense.
Notably, “public” means any place that people commonly gather or a location that the public has access to. For example, parks, sidewalks, schools, libraries, roadways, neighborhoods, prisons, bus and train stations, and businesses are all typical places where disorderly conduct occurs. On the other hand, private residences, private property, or businesses closed to the public, are not typically considered “public” within the meaning of the statute.
In real life application, disorderly conduct is charged to restore public order or to stop someone from continuing a course of disruptive behavior in public. Particular forms of behavior that could result in you or a loved one being charged with disorderly conduct in Westfield include: slapping, punching, kicking, pushing, screaming, cursing, public drunkenness, behaving erratically while under the influence, spitting, publicly urinating, stopping traffic, disturbing the peace, loitering, or heckling. This list seems overly broad, but the statute is intended to be just that.
Consequences of Disorderly Conduct Charges in Westfield NJ
A petty disorderly persons offense for disorderly conduct will result in a summons for Westfield Municipal Court. This is a criminal offense, but it is not a felony crime. Many people are lulled into thinking that a disorderly conduct charge is akin to a ticket. This is untrue. A conviction for disorderly conduct actually allows the judge to punish you by sending you to jail for 30 days, placing you on probation, ordering you to pay $500 in fines, imposing mandatory fines of $125 as well as court costs and fees, ordering you to obtain substance abuse or mental health evaluation, and adding the offense to your criminal history. This means that disorderly conduct will show up on a background check unless and until it is expunged.
Westfield Disorderly Conduct Lawyers
Our lawyers have been defending clients who find themselves ensnared in disorderly conduct cases in Westfield for years. We are thoroughly prepared to successfully resolve your case, whether by negotiating a better deal, having the charges reduced, or obtaining a dismissal or discharge. No matter what your situation, our local criminal defense lawyers can help. Call us at (908) 838-0150 to discuss your Westfield disorderly conduct charges today. Consultations are free and a member of our team is available right away to assist you.