Do I Need a Lawyer for a Disorderly Conduct Charge?
Although being charged with disorderly conduct may not be the most severe penalty in New Jersey, it remains a serious violation in terms of how it can affect someone. For this reason alone, many people choose to work with criminal defense attorneys when they have been accused of a petty disorderly person offense.
What Is Disorderly Conduct?
In New Jersey, disorderly conduct can be verbal, physical, or both. It may include starting a fight, threatening another individual, or simply yelling abusive comments at someone in a public place. Common public places include campus arenas, athletic stadiums, amusement parks, and grocery stores.
A person charged with disorderly conduct will usually be fingerprinted and booked, which will automatically transfer to a criminal arrest record. The penalties for a disorderly conduct charge can include $500 for the offense and up to six months in jail. If a vehicle is involved in the disorderly conduct charge, the offender may forfeit the right to have a license for up to two years.
Is a Disorderly Conduct Charge Serious?
Plenty of people believe that disorderly conduct is unimportant because it is a minor infraction of the law. However, all criminal charges will be reflected on a person’s permanent record. If charges remain on someone’s permanent record, anyone who conducts a background check will be able to see any arrests.
Employers, landlords, banks, and other entities and persons who pay for a background check may decide not to do business with someone who has been arrested. It does not matter if it was a petty offense. A person’s record will show that a crime took place and that the individual was convicted.
Is There a Way to Fight a Disorderly Conduct Charge?
Criminal defense attorneys will fight to get charges lowered or removed. It may be difficult for a person to do this alone, so it is best to seek an accomplished attorney about your legal options.
Depending on the situation, the disorderly conduct charge could be dismissed entirely. If this is impossible, the courts might be willing to change the charge and move it to an ordinance violation. An ordinance violation is a municipal offense, not a criminal offense, and does not show up on a permanent record.
Another common defense tactic is to negotiate a deal with the prosecutor. For instance, the prosecutor may agree to drop charges after the violator attends counseling or meetings, such as Alcoholics Anonymous. After completion of the agreed-upon counseling, the criminal record will be expunged within an acceptable time frame.
Again, these types of negotiations are best handled by a professional legal provider and not the accused. An accused person who tries to defend themselves may make their circumstance worse. Criminal defense attorneys take a third-party viewpoint while still serving the needs of their clients.
Cherry Hill Criminal Defense Lawyers at Aita Law, LLC Determine the Best Course of Action for Clients Charged with Disorderly Conduct and Other Petty Offenses
If you were charged with disorderly conduct or another petty offense, contact one of our experienced lawyers today about your options. Our knowledgeable Cherry Hill criminal defense lawyers at Aita, Law, LLC will fight to protect your rights and will help you with charges brought against you. Contact us online or call us at 856-287-7800 to schedule a free consultation about your case. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients in Camden County, Cherry Hill, and throughout the South Jersey area.