Disorderly conduct is an extraordinarily common charge issued to visitors and residents throughout Ocean County’s beach towns in the summer months, late spring, and early autumn. With municipalities such as Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Toms River, Lavallette, Point Pleasant Boro, Point Pleasant Beach, Mantoloking, Surf City, Long Beach Township, and Ship Bottom, in addition to the nearby Monmouth County towns such Belmar, Asbury Park, and Brielle, which are famous for their beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife, and popular boardwalk scene, thousands of people descend upon these places every year to enjoy all they have to offer. Unfortunately, with so much activity comes a significant law enforcement presence, and these factors lead to a high occurrence of disorderly conduct summonses at the Jersey Shore.
Unfortunately for a majority of the defendants in disorderly conduct cases, they receive these charges while on vacation or visiting from another town in New Jersey, and do not actually reside near the courthouse. This creates logistical concerns and inconvenience when they are called to appear in a local municipal court, often several times before their case is resolved. At the Law Offices of Proetta & Oliver, our attorneys exclusively handle criminal and DWI offenses throughout Ocean County and New Jersey, and we frequently help clients navigate these issues. With our experience defending thousands of clients in courts across the state, we develop a defense strategy to position you for the best possible outcome. Whether that is downgrading your disorderly conduct charges to a municipal ordinance violation, securing your enrollment in a diversionary program which will lead to the dismissal of your charges when successfully completed, or having your charges dismissed entirely, you can rest-assured that your future is in capable hands. For a free consultation about your specific disorderly conduct case, contact us anytime at (848) 238-2100. One of our Ocean County criminal defense lawyers is available immediately to assist you.
What You Need to Know about NJ Disorderly Conduct Charges
The vast majority of disorderly conduct cases involve some form of alcohol, and at the Jersey Shore, these charges often arise when people have been drinking at a local bar or popular spot like Jenk’s, Tiki Bar, Beachcomber Bar and Grill, or Club Karma. The problem with Disorderly Conduct law in New Jersey is the vague language used in the statute (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2), which encompasses all behavior that a police officer interprets as “improper,” as well as what law enforcement officials deem “offensive language.” Obviously, this can be applied very broadly to a wide range of situations, hence the prevalence of disorderly conduct arrests and charges in Jersey Shore towns.
As you can see from our Disorderly Conduct Page, disorderly conduct is classified as a petty disorderly persons offense under New Jersey law. Although this is the lowest-level criminal offense in New Jersey, it is punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a maximum fine of $500, community service, and/or probation. In addition, if you are convicted of disorderly conduct, it will appear on your criminal record, which can pose a significant problem as you pursue employment, education, and other opportunities in the future.
Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to handle a disorderly conduct charge so that you don’t end up with a criminal record. First and foremost, a knowledgeable lawyer can contest one of the elements of the offense by proving that you did not engage in violent or threatening behavior, create a physically dangerous condition, or use language that would offend a person present at the time. In other cases, your attorney can negotiate to have disorderly conduct charges downgraded to a municipal ordinance violation, which is similar to a ticket, is resolved by paying a fine, and does not result in a criminal record. Still another option is to reach an agreement whereby you complete anger management classes or counseling in lieu of a guilty plea. Ultimately, it is invaluable to have an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can ensure that you are aware of all of your available options before pursuing the most favorable outcome.
Disorderly Conduct Lawyer in Ship Bottom, New Jersey
Whether you are a local or a visitor, the Ocean County criminal defense attorneys at the Law Office of Proetta & Oliver will diligently and skillfully defend you against your disorderly conduct charges. We want you to enjoy your hard-earned time at the Jersey Shore, and will work with the prosecutor to dismiss or downgrade your charges. To speak with an experienced disorderly conduct lawyer absolutely free of charge to build a case strategy customized to meet your needs, contact our Toms River office at (848) 238-2100.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.