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Disorderly Conduct

Criminal Defense Attorney in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Disorderly conduct is an incredibly common charge issued in Monmouth County and throughout New Jersey. According to the New Jersey State Police’s most recent Uniform Crime Report, there were 1,713 arrests for disorderly conduct in Monmouth County alone in the last year reported. The frequent incidence of disorderly conduct charges can be attributed to the broad language and applicability of the statute that governs these offenses, as well as the many locations within Monmouth County that may give rise to these charges, such as PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, the many bars and restaurants in towns like Red Bank, and the numerous colleges and universities in the area, including Monmouth University. The likelihood that you may be charged with disorderly conduct does not in any way diminish the seriousness of these charges in the eyes of the law. In fact, a conviction for disorderly conduct can result in a county jail sentence, significant fines, and a charge on your criminal record that may hinder your ability to secure employment and other opportunities in the future.

With such severe consequences hanging over your head, the assistance of an experienced criminal defense lawyer can truly spell the difference between a finding of guilt or innocence. Attorney Tara Breslow has represented countless clients charged with disorderly conduct in towns throughout Monmouth County for the last 10 years. While she always pursues an outright dismissal as paramount, she also secures outcomes that allow her clients to avoid prison and a criminal record when a dismissal is not a viable option. For example, Ms. Breslow has had great success achieving downgraded charges for clients charged with disorderly conduct, allowing them to plead to a municipal ordinance violation, similar to a ticket for an offense such as littering, which allows them to pay a fine and move on with no record or jail time. To discuss your case and learn more about how she can help you to secure a favorable result, contact her Monmouth County offices for a cost-free consultation.

Disorderly Conduct Lawyer in Red Bank NJ

According to New Jersey law, there are two distinct actions that may constitute disorderly conduct, one of which involves improper behavior, while the other relates to offensive language. The New Jersey Criminal Code explains disorderly conduct in section N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1, stating the following:

a. Improper Behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he

(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or

(2) Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.

b. Offensive Language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with the purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively course or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.

The law defines “public” as “affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which public or a substantial group has access.” The myriad of places that may be considered public include: highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or neighborhoods.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct in New Jersey

After reading the statute above, it is clear that the language used in describe disorderly conduct is rather ambiguous. In fact, it is purposefully vague to allow law enforcement officers and prosecutors to apply broad discretion to behavior that may be perceived as “disorderly.” The significant interpretation allowed in disorderly conduct cases underscores the necessity for a knowledgeable defense attorney who can effectively identify and call into question vulnerabilities in the prosecution’s arguments. Without an effective defense, you are exposed to a county jail sentence of up to 90 days, a fine of up to $500, and a charge on your criminal record. Further, the fact that you may have to include a criminal conviction on applications for employment or other opportunities can be sufficiently damaging to your reputation and your future. With so much hanging in the balance, there is no time like the present to build a proactive defense.

Contact an Asbury Park NJ Disorderly Conduct Attorney Today

If you or someone you love has been charged with disorderly conduct, underage drinking, resisting arrest, or another offense in Monmouth County, contact the law offices of Tara Breslow today for your cost-free consultation. Having represented clients in Monmouth County towns such as Holmdel, Red Bank, and Asbury Park for the last 10 years, Ms. Breslow is thoroughly prepared to build your best defense.