Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Disorderly Persons Offenses & Background Checks

A Disorderly Persons will show up on a background check.

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. 

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.

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.

Disorderly persons convictions will stay on your record for 5 years

Disorderly Persons charges are heard in New Jersey Municipal courts.

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.

You must wait for five years from the date you completed your sentence before you can get an expungement. For example, if you were sentenced to pay fines, the five years starts running once you pay all fines.

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.

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About the Author

Attorney Alan G. Peyrouton

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.