Old Bridge Disorderly Conduct Attorney
Old Bridge Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer
A person can be charged with disorderly conduct for a number of reasons in New Jersey. For example, it is considered disorderly conduct if a person engages in fighting, threatening, violent, or tumultuous behavior. Disorderly conduct offenses under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 occur so often that many people mistake their summons for a ticket or a bill to be paid and simply forgotten about. In Old Bridge and elsewhere in Middlesex County, New Jersey not taking this charge seriously can be a major mistake with long-term repercussions for your life. Believe it or not, a disorderly conduct conviction will leave you with a criminal record and it even exposes you to jail time. Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense, with penalties including a $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail. If you or a loved one has been charged with disorderly conduct in the Township of Old Bridge, contact our local office to discuss the case and your options with a seasoned Old Bridge criminal defense attorney who regularly defends clients facing disorderly conduct charges. We can troubleshoot the pitfalls of having a criminal case in Old Bridge Municipal Court and help you achieve the best possible outcome. Simply call (732) 659-9600 to learn more in a free consultation.
Charged with Disorderly Conduct in Old Bridge NJ
Old Bridge was recently named the 6th safest city to raise a child in the country and the town ranked number two in New Jersey. Safety and public order are the baseline of any town, and especially so in Old Bridge. Anyone who breaches or threatens the peace of a town in New Jersey may be prosecuted under the guise of committing “disorderly conduct.” This charge makes it a petty disorderly persons offense for any person to disturb the peace of the public. Disturbing the peace under the statute happens in many ways. Sometimes, the acts alleged are not necessarily an offense, but the police may charge you in an attempt to stop the behavior. In other cases, the alleged behavior is indicative of disorderly conduct and it is possible that you may be proven guilty.
One requirement in all disorderly conduct cases is that the offense must have been committed in public. This means it must be alleged that you committed the offense in an area to which the public has access. Disorderly conduct cannot be proven if the acts occur in places that are private, such as your home, a friend’s house, or dorm room. Once it is established that you were in public, the prosecutor must prove that your acts meet the standard for disorderly under the law. For instance, if you commit acts of “improper behavior,” you can be found guilty of disorderly conduct. Improper behavior is any conduct that is disruptive, dangerous, assaultive, or combative. Fighting with someone is cause for such a charge.
Even less than this, you can be charged with disorderly conduct for using “offensive language.” Offensive language is yet another expansive portion of the disorderly conduct law because basically, any language that is deemed to be disturbing in some manner to someone else could be found to be “offensive.” For example, if you are cursing, screaming, yelling, or arguing in a public space, you can be charged this offense. Being loud or using “coarse” or “foul” language can result in a conviction.
Ways You can Commit an Old Bridge Disorderly Conduct Offense
Common examples of disorderly conduct range from fighting to cursing, being drunk or high in public, loitering, heckling persons for no reason, wandering in the roadways, obstructing passersby, or just displaying behavior that causes alarm. For instance, a physical altercation involving a large crowd after a basketball game in Old Bridge, New Jersey resulted in criminal charges for disorderly conduct against one man. The fight occurred after a boys’ basketball game between Old Bridge and Monroe at Old Bridge High School last Thursday. Police responded to the scene after approximately 50 people began fighting at around 8:15 p.m. Those involved were said to have been throwing snowballs, among other things.
One man, a 25-year-old Old Bridge resident, was charged with disorderly conduct, after authorities discovered an outstanding warrant for his arrest in connection with an unpaid traffic ticket. The man he was attempting to stop the fight prior to his arrest. He is a local youth basketball coach. Now, he is facing criminal charges for disorderly conduct in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2.
Notably, no one was charged with simple assault in connection with this incident even though people were reportedly fighting. Simple assault is a different offense than disorderly conduct in New Jersey, although the types of behavior resulting in these charges often overlap. Under the NJ simple assault statute, 2C:12-1, a person can be charged with simple assault for attempting to injure someone else or placing another person in fear of serious bodily injury. If simple assault occurs in a mutual fight or scuffle, it is also classified as a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey.
Consequences You face for Disorderly Conduct in Old Bridge Township
Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense. In Old Bridge Municipal Court, you are entitled to have a trial determining your ultimate guilt or innocence. At a trial, the prosecutor must prove that you were in public, that you committed an act of disorderly conduct, and that your conduct was likely to or did, in fact, cause public inconvenience or alarm. Fortunately, before you ever get to a trial, you will be required to go to court and determine if the case can be resolved favorably. A good criminal attorney discusses your case with the prosecutor to possibly reach an agreement about the case that allows you to avoid a criminal conviction that will show up on a background check. More importantly, your lawyer will obtain the police reports, complaints, and witness’ statements and review the legal merits of the case.
Sometimes after a discussion with the prosecutor, the case gets dismissed or an agreement is made to lower the offense to a municipal ordinance. When we can have the charge downgraded to a municipal ordinance, this is not technically a criminal offense in New Jersey. In other cases, we will file a motion to strike evidence or dismiss the charges outright based on the circumstance surrounding the case.
If the case cannot be worked out or dismissed, you face serious punishments for disorderly conduct. If convicted, a fine of $500 may be imposed, a jail sentence of up to 30 days may be given, and various other fines, penalties, and court costs can be ordered by the presiding judge. In addition, if you have a disorderly conduct or simple assault case in New Jersey and are ultimately found guilty, you will be left with a conviction on your criminal record. This can present a serious problem when pursuing opportunities that require a criminal background check.
Attorneys for Disorderly Conduct & Simple Assault Charges in Old Bridge, New Jersey
There are so many things that can happen in municipal court when you are facing disorderly conduct charges in Old Bridge. Some can happen without you even understanding the gravity of the situation. If we represent you, you will be informed every step of the way and you will not be in left in the dark or at the mercy of the court. With countless disorderly conduct cases successfully handled in our extensive careers as criminal defense lawyers, let us work for you. At the Law Offices of William Proetta Criminal Law, our criminal defense attorneys always seek the best possible outcome for our clients. To discuss your specific assault case in Old Bridge and find out how we can help, contact our offices today at (732) 659-9600. Consultations are always provided free of charge.