Disorderly Persons Offense

Disorderly Persons Offense

Disorderly Persons Offense Overview

A disorderly persons offense is the equivalent of a misdemeanor in other states. New Jersey treats a disorderly persons offense as a minor criminal offense. Although NJ’s criminal code only designates indictable offenses as crimes, a disorderly persons offense conviction will complicate your life.

If you’ve been charged with a disorderly persons offense, it’s not the end of the world. As criminal lawyers, we’ve represented thousands of clients with disorderly persons offense charges. Our main goal is to get the charges dismissed but if this is not possible, we work out favorable plea deals. Often, we can get a disorderly persons offense downgraded or amended to a local ordinance.

Disorderly Persons Offense Examples

Marijuana possession, shoplifting, harassment, criminal mischief, resisting arrest, obstruction of justice and lewdness are among the most common disorderly persons offenses.

A typical marijuana possession charge starts out as a traffic violation. Whether our clients are in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, or Passaic County, these disorderly persons offense charges stem from a speeding or other traffic stop. The police approach the vehicle to request the driver’s credentials when they smell the strong odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.

Bergen County shoplifting cases generally arise in nearby malls. The Paramus police department makes thousands of shoplifting arrests at the Westfield Plaza, Paramus Park, and the Bergen Malls. 

Simple assault is another disorderly persons offense. These charges often arise in domestic violence situations & restraining orders are issued. If your disorderly persons charge involves domestic violence, you will not be eligible for the conditional dismissal program.

Resisting arrest & obstruction of justice are two disorderly persons offenses that are usually charged together. By their definitions, one necessarily creates the other. When you resist arrest, you obstruct justice & vice versa. Our criminal lawyers have handled countless cases like these. Let us help you now with yours.

Another set of disorderly persons offenses commonly charged together are lewdness & criminal mischief. Criminal mischief usually has to do with the destruction of another’s property but there’s a catchall provision that covers broad conduct. Lewdness can either be a sex crime or an offensive act like urinating in public. Since we are discussing lewdness as a disorderly persons offense, chances are that if you were caught in public urinating on someone’s property (causing damage), then you may be facing these two charges.

Disorderly Persons Offense Penalties

Disorderly Persons Offenses:
  • Up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Petty Disorderly Persons:
  • Up to 6 months in jail and up to a $500 fine.

A disorderly persons offense or petty disorderly persons offense conviction will leave with a criminal record. And yes, they will pop up on a background check.  If you have a professional license i.e., teacher, nurse, pharmacist, stockbroker, etc., you can face suspension and/or termination.

In addition to fines, you will have to pay:

  • court costs,
  • Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB) fines; and
  • A Safe Neighborhood fine. 

Lastly, it is important to understand that for CDS charges, the court could impose probation and even suspend or revoke a defendant’s driver’s license for up to 2 years. 

Disorderly Persons Offense Courts

Disorderly persons cases are handled in Municipal Court. Each municipality in New Jersey has its own municipal court. For example, Hackensack, Jersey City, Newark, and Paterson all have their own court. Your case will be resolved in the town/city where you were charged.

If you go to trial, your case will not go before a jury. Instead, the local municipal court judge will decide your guilt or innocence. If you are found guilty at trial and you are not eligible for a diversionary program, your disorderly persons conviction will stay on your record for 5 years. You must appeal the municipal judge’s decision within 20 days.

All appeals of municipal court decisions take place at the county level.

Disorderly Persons Offense Probation

New Jersey offers two types of diversionary programs for a disorderly persons offense.

If your charges involve CDS like marijuana, then you may be eligible for the conditional discharge program.

In non-drug cases, you may be eligible for the conditional dismissal program. Successful completion in either of these two programs will result in the dismissal of your criminal charges. You will not get a criminal conviction on your record & you will improve your chances of keeping your employment. Once dismissed, these charges will not appear in a background check. However, it is important to expunge the arrest record once your charges get dismissed.

Disorderly Persons Offense Immigration Consequences

A disorderly persons offense conviction may have serious immigration consequences. Although you may plead guilty to a disorderly persons offense and avoid jail, if you are not a United States citizen, you just might yourself under deportation proceedings. Under federal immigration law, a disorderly persons offense may be considered a crime involving moral turpitude. So you might think that it’s ok to pay a fine in municipal court & be done with your case only to find out that immigration will revoke your green card or place under deportation proceedings. Let us help you.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey complex as well as nearby cities. The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Practice Areas:

Below, you will find a few of our practice areas.

Areas We Serve

Our Hackensack criminal lawyers represent clients in Bergen County & nearby counties & cities. 

Get Help With Your Case

How Do Your Free Consultations Work?

There are plenty of excellent Hackensack criminal lawyers in our area. Most, if not all of them, offer free, 20-minute, consultations. However, our free consultations do not have a time limit. You will never feel rushed.

The best way for us to help you is to patiently listen to your side of the story. Your version of events will serve as the basis for your legal defense. It is during these initial meetings that your memory of the event is fresh in your mind. Why we would rush you during such an important aspect of your case.

We understand that your choice of attorney could mean the difference between your freedom and spending years behind bars. 

When you hire an attorney, you are entering a long-term relationship. For this reason, it is important that you feel comfortable with the team of Hackensack criminal lawyers that will represent you.

What our clients say about us:

Peyrouton Law
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Rock'd
Rock'd
19:42 19 Aug 20
For many like myself, finding a good lawyer is a must. I was caught in a situation I shouldn't have been in, and Alan was recommended to me through a friend. I'm forever grateful to have found Alan, because most lawyers wont fight tooth and nail to make sure you get the best deal or outcome. Alan was more than patient with me and assured me he would do all he can, and he exceeded my expectations. Thank you Alan!
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hyo s ahn
22:04 03 Aug 20
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Dom O
Dom O
00:36 01 Aug 20
I’m very grateful for all the hard work and effort Peyrouton Law put fourth in my case! Alan is a lawyer who cares and strives to get the best outcome for all of his clients ! He’s like a dog with a bone, he never gives up on you ! During the most stressful time in my life they were there for me, fighting for me all the way. Texts to see how me and my family and to keep me informed of all overwhelming court business. I know if I didn’t have Peyrouton Law on my side I wouldn’t have found a better lawyer to help with everything like they did. Anyone who needs a help, compassion at more than reasonable law fees, you couldn’t find a better lawyer !!
Jerry Rivera
Jerry Rivera
02:18 29 Jul 20
Very professional ! Since I called they were very helpful and help me with the case right away , very sincere law firm , when they are talking about the case you feel like they are part of you family and want the best for you , always tells you the truth. I recommend them 100%
ceci Liu
ceci Liu
01:43 25 Jul 20
they are very professional and very helpful team. I got traffic ticket and to be able to reduce to 0 point and affordable fine. It was during covid time and Samera helps me a lot through phone calls and emails. Samera is very responsive and easy to approach. Alan is great and friendly. truly appreciate for all the help and patience.
Dan kim
Dan kim
20:00 02 Jul 20
Initially, I thought our case was very minor. Come to find out that our situation was actually more complicated and would have had serious consequences had Peyrouton Law not taken our case. From beginning to end, we had peace of mind working with Samera and that we were in good hands and we were taken care of every step of the way. I cannot recommend this firm highly enough. Their professionalism, competency, responsiveness and integrity clearly set them apart from other firms. If you need legal counsel, you must contact Peyrouten Law first!
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Junior Garcia
17:03 29 Jun 20
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lea johnson
15:24 25 Jun 20
I can’t say enough great things about Alan and his team at Peyrouton Law. Hiring him was the best decision I could have made in terms of representation in court. His years of experience practicing criminal law in New Jersey make him such a valuable asset to any client. He’s well aquatinted with individuals that work in the court system and he genuinely cared about my case. He took the time to get to know me and advocated on my behalf to the prosecutor and judge. If you are lucky enough to hire Alan, rest assured there are no hidden fees or additional charges for phone calls and emails. Alan and his were always available to answer any questions I had. He was upfront about the expectations of my case and I couldn’t be more pleased with the outcome. To anyone reading this review, I strongly encourage you to hire Alan. 🙂
Edie Nolan
Edie Nolan
21:52 18 Apr 20
The office of Peyrouton Law Helped my family so much, I can't put it into words how much. The day we walked into the office we explained our situation to Alan and his associates and they took on our situation like we were family.
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A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.

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 a 3rd-degree.

Fourth-Degree

4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.