Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Disorderly Persons Offenses & Municipal Ordinances
What's The Difference?

As Disorderly Persons Offense & Municipal Ordinance lawyers in New Jersey, we wrote this article to help you understand the difference between the two.

When a Disorderly Persons background check is performed, be prepared! Whoever is running the background check will learn of your conviction. Employers will either demand an explanation or terminate employment. Universities may suspend or expel. 

An Ordinance conviction will also pop up on a background check. However, 

Does an ordinance violation go on your record?

In our experience, an Ordinance conviction will also pop up on a background check. 

However, it’s easier to explain an Ordinance conviction to an employer than it is to explain a Disorderly Persons offense for shoplifting.

Common New Jersey Ordinance Violations

New Jersey towns have the authority to enact laws that protect their local citizens.

These laws are called “Ordinances”.

Since each NJ town is unique, so are their local laws.

However, almost all towns have laws against the following:

  • Public Intoxication
  • Disturbing the Peace
  • Excessive Noise within City Limits
  • Underage Drinking
  • Public Nuisances
  • Consuming Alcohol in Public Places
  • Public Urination

How long does a disorderly persons conviction stay on your record?

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a Disorderly Persons Offense, the conviction will stay on your record for five years.

After you pay all fines & comply with all conditions of your sentence, you may Expunge your record.

Common Disorderly Persons offenses include: Harassment, Resisting Arrest, Obstruction of Justice, Eluding, Marijuana Possession, and Simple Assault.

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a Disorderly Persons offense, you face up to six months in jail and up to a one thousand dollar fine.

For example, if you were sentenced to pay fines, the five years starts running once you pay all fines.

How long does a Municipal Ordinance conviction stay on your record?

If you plead guilty or are found guilty of a Municipal Ordinance, the conviction will stay on your record for two years.

After you pay all fines & comply with all conditions of your sentence, you may Expunge your record.

Will a disorderly persons conviction affect employment

There is not a “yes” or “no” answer to this question. 
Some employers only want employees with impeccable records. 
Other employers could care less. 
Yes, it all depends on the type of employment you have or are seeking.
For example, if you are seeking to become a bank cashier, a Disorderly Persons conviction for theft will probably be problematic.
However, if you are seeking employment as a waitress, a conviction for simple marijuana possession can be explained
After all, your employer may have liberal views when it comes to decriminalizing marijuana possession.

Will a Municipal Ordinance conviction affect employment

Again, this is not a simple question to answer.

Everything depends on your employer’s demands & expectations.

However, since an ordinance violation is extremely common, it is more acceptable than a criminal charge.

Suggestion: take the first step & Be upfront

If you know that your employer intends to run a background check, beat him to the punch. Be the first to reveal the surprise. In this way, you will have the best opportunity to explain your story. Moreover, your employer will perceive you as honest and trustworthy.
 
Think about it. You may never get an opportunity to explain your Disorderly Persons conviction. Once your future employer sees a conviction on your record, you may never get a callback. Take some time at the end of your interview to bring it up. Clear it up and ask your potential employer if he/she has any questions.
Remember, people can be very understanding.

But my lawyer said...

Under the New Jersey criminal code, a Disorderly Persons offense is “not a crime”.

But try explaining this to your employer or future employer.

Chances are that the person running a background check on you is not a criminal defense attorney.
It’s understandable that when someone sees a “conviction”, the logical conclusion is that you’ve been convicted of a crime.

Your lawyer may have explained this to you but it’s still a hard concept for people to understand.

important tip: get a letter from your lawyer

Provide your employer with a letter from your lawyer explaining your conviction.
Even if your criminal lawyer charges you a few bucks for this letter, it’s a worthwhile investment.
The letter will explain that in New Jersey a Disorderly Persons offenses is not a crime.
It’s also good for your lawyer to offer to answer any questions your employer may have.

About the Author

Attorney At Law

Mr. Peyrouton is a Criminal Defense Attorney located in Hackensack, NJ.

His articles in the areas of Criminal Law have been published in The New Jersey Law Journal.

He is a distinguished author, trial attorney, and has had the privilege of arguing before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Peyrouton was a world-class, competitive tennis player.

He is perfectly fluent in Spanish.

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More Practice Areas

  • Get Help With Your Disorderly Persons Or Municipal Ordinance Case

If you would like to meet with us to discuss your case, we offer FREE consultations.

About the Author

Attorney At Law

Mr. Peyrouton is a Criminal Defense Attorney located in Hackensak, NJ.

His articles in the areas of Criminal Law have been published in The New Jersey Law Journal.

He is a distinguished author, trial attorney, and has had the privilege of arguing before the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Mr. Peyrouton was a world-class, competitive tennis player.

He is perfectly fluent in Spanish.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.


b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.


c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines

Examples

First-Degree

1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses.

Second-Degree

2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.

Third-Degree

3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. But if you have a really good lawyer, he may be able to your case “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.