Spring Lake New Jersey Disorderly Persons Offense Lawyer
Crimes are given different categories in New Jersey than in many other states. You may be familiar with crimes called felonies, misdemeanors, or infractions. The equivalent criminal activities to most felonies under New Jersey law are grouped according to severity, with the most serious being first-degree down to fourth-degree crimes. What would be considered a misdemeanor in other jurisdictions is a disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey. The lowest level of offense you may face for a crime in Spring Lake, New Jersey, is called a petty disorderly persons offense, similar to an infraction in many other places.
If you have found yourself on the receiving end of a disorderly persons offense, an attorney can help you. The Spring Lake disorderly persons offense attorneys at Tara Breslow-Testa and Associates have substantial experience defending clients against criminal charges. Criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa lends her expertise to every case and provides each client with specialized attention and care. Calling us today at (732) 784-2880 or contacting us online will be the next best step to take in your situation.Distinctions Between Levels of Offenses
The critical difference between crimes of the first through fourth degree versus disorderly persons offenses is that there is no potential for prison time on a guilty plea or conviction of disorderly persons or petty disorderly persons offense. A defendant guilty of a disorderly persons offense can face up to six months in jail and a fine of $1,000. Guilt on a petty disorderly persons offense can lead to three months in jail and a fine of $500. Because there is no risk of prison time for a disorderly persons offense, there is no constitutional right to a jury trial on the charges.Examples of Disorderly Persons Offenses
The law covers a wide range of activities that can be charged as a disorderly persons offense. Some common examples include:
- Bad check offenses
- Simple assault
- Resisting arrest, if the defendant doesn't flee in a vehicle or risk injury to others
While the constitutional right to a trial by jury does not apply in these cases, the accused still does have the right to an attorney to represent them in court. If you are facing a disorderly persons charge, the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney can be crucial in helping you to avoid the worst possible outcomes.Examples of Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses
Petty disorderly persons offenses are the types of crimes that might be called infractions in other areas. Examples include:
- Disorderly conduct (not to be confused with the category of disorderly persons offenses)
While it is true that a petty disorderly offense is the least severe level of criminal charge you can face in Spring Lake, New Jersey, that doesn't mean you should ignore the charges or take them lightly. Not only could you be facing up to three months away from your work and family while serving a jail sentence, but you may have to pay fines up to $500 as well as other fees and penalties, including possible restitution for damage caused by your actions.Collateral Consequences of Criminal Charges
In addition to potential jail time and financial fines, judges can order a defendant to serve probation under court supervision or attend mandatory classes or treatment programs as part of a sentence. Some cases may also put your driver's license in jeopardy.
Regardless of what penalties you may face for the crime, there is also the fact that a criminal record is a public matter. Current or future employers, landlords, or banks may check your criminal record if you are looking for a job, a house, or a loan. Some schooling programs and potential positions within the military or law enforcement may have restrictions on those who have a criminal record. Specific careers are also very sensitive to applicants with a criminal record, from childcare and education work to civil service positions with certain government agencies.Talk to a Lawyer Now to Avoid The Worst
Facing criminal charges is never a good thing. You can make a bad situation worse by trying to ignore it or not take it seriously enough. Even though the charges you face might just be a disorderly persons offense, there are real consequences to being found guilty. An experienced criminal defense attorney is your best ally to assess the situation, interact with the prosecutor and courts on your behalf, and help you find your way through the crisis with the least damage to your livelihood and future well-being.
The Spring Lake disorderly persons lawyers at Tara Breslow-Testa and Associates are experienced and highly informed. We can help ensure your rights are protected. In fact, skilled criminal defense attorney Tara Breslow-Testa is involved in each client’s case from front to back, ensuring quality representation. Call (732) 784-2880 or contact us online to schedule your consultation today.