Disorderly Persons Offenses Explained

In most of the United States, minor criminal acts are called misdemeanors and major criminal acts are called felonies. This is not the case in New Jersey. In New Jersey, minor offenses are categorized as “disorderly persons offenses” and major offenses are known as “crimes” or “indictable offenses.”

Although disorderly persons offenses are a lower level offenses than indictable offenses, they can carry serious penalties for those convicted. Penalties for a disorderly persons conviction can include fines, restitution, community service, and in some cases, a short jail sentence. No matter what type of offense you are charged with committing, it is important that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent your case and your interests in court.

Examples of Disorderly Persons Offenses

  • Harassment

  • Simple assault

  • Possession of a small amount of marijuana

  • Lewd behavior

  • Underage drinking or possession of alcohol

  • Possession of a fake identification card

  • Shoplifting

  • Obstruction of law enforcement

  • Resisting arrest

  • Possession of drug paraphernalia

In most cases, you will not face jail time for a disorderly persons offense conviction. However, you could, depending on the circumstances of your case. Usually, the fine for a disorderly persons offense is between $500 and $1,000.

Disorderly persons offenses are handled at the municipal level. That means that if you are charged with a disorderly persons offense, it will be handled by the court of the town where the offense occurred. If you need to appear in court, you will appear in the local courthouse.

These convictions can be expunged from your record through the expungement process five years after you complete all the penalties for your conviction. This process involves petitioning to the court to remove a conviction from your record, which can make it easier for you to find employment or housing in the future.

Work with a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney

If you are facing any type of criminal charge, contact The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at 732-370-9596 today to discuss your case during your free legal consultation with our firm. We can determine the best way for you to defend your case in court and then provide you with the legal guidance you need through every step of the criminal justice process. Do not wait to contact our firm. We serve clients in Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Burlington, and Mercer counties.

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