Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense. This offense is treated like a ”catch-all” criminal charge for improper behavior and offensive language. Because of this, many of our clients are initially confused as what they are exactly charged with and what about their conduct was disorderly. While not a “crime” per se, disorderly conduct, under NJSA 2C:33-2, is still treated as a criminal offense. If convicted, you face possible jail time and fines set by the court. Please read below for more information on these types of criminal charges.
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 Disorderly Conduct Law
Pursuant to 2C:33-2, disorderly conduct is defined as follows:
“a. Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
(2) Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
‘Public’ means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood.”
How to Defend a Disorderly Conduct Charge in NJ
Previous iterations of the New Jersey’s Disorderly Conduct Statute have been held to be unconstitutional. In State in Interest of H.D., the section of the Code of Criminal Justice which makes a person guilty of disorderly conduct by using coarse or abusive conduct which offends the sensibilities of a listener was been held to be unconstitutionally overbroad. This required the law to be amended. Specifically, in State v. Rosenfeld, the Supreme Court held that for a prohibition against offensive speech to be constitutional the state must be required to prove the offensive language was uttered in a public place and the language was such that it is likely to invite the hearer to an immediate breach of the peace. Nevertheless, some police officers still file charges against citizens for conduct that offends our constitutional rights.If you believe that the you were wrongly charged, call a criminal attorney today at 848-238-2100.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in NJ
N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 is a petty disorderly persons offense in Toms River. If you are convicted of a petty disorderly persons offense for Disorderly Conduct, you will be subject to the following penalties:
30 days in the Ocean County Jail
Do I have to Go to Court for Disorderly Conduct Charge?
Yes. Anyone charged with disorderly conduct in Toms River will be forced to litigate those charges in the Toms River Municipal Court. The courthouse is located at 255 Oak Avenue, Toms River, NJ 08753. Its hours of operation are Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM. Court sessions are:
Monday: 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM
1:30 PM and 3:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM
Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer in Toms River
If you live in Toms River, New Jersey, and were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, harassment, resisting arrest, possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana or terroristic threats, help is available. Contact the Toms River Criminal Lawyers at Proetta & Oliver. Firm partner and former New Jersey Deputy Attorney General, William C. Fay, IV, has a plethora of experience handling these types of criminal cases. We have handled countless cases in throughout Ocean County, including, Toms River, Manahawkin, Stafford, Lakewood, Jackson and Brick, just to name a few. Regardless of your situation, it is important that that you take the time to at least inform yourself as to the charges you are facing. Contact our Ocean County office at 848-238-2100 today and schedule your complimentary one-on-one consultation with Mr. Fay.
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.