Paramus NJ Disorderly Conduct Lawyer
2c:33-2 Offenses in Paramus, New Jersey
A day in Paramus that started fine turned into you being charged with disorderly conduct. Now you’re worried about what this petty disorderly persons offense will mean for your near and distant future. What should you know about a disorderly conduct case in Paramus? Paramus, like any suburban destination, has its share of public nuisances and disturbances, often leading to charges for disorderly conduct. Breaching the public peace, as it is often termed, covers a range of offensive and disruptive behaviors and is open to interpretation, given that “offensive” or “disruptive” depends on individual sensibilities. Basically, what is considered offensive to some, may not be to others. Any behavior calculated to annoy, harass, or inconvenience others, or in disregard of others may be deemed disorderly conduct, a violation of NJSA 2C:33-2.
If you have been charged with disorderly conduct in Paramus, New Jersey, finding the most knowledgeable and experienced criminal defense attorney available is one of the best ways to ensure that you get the most favorable results. Depending on the situation, you may be able to avoid a criminal conviction on your record, pay a fine, and walk away with a municipal ordinance violation. In other cases, there may be discovery issues or other defenses to use that can lead to an outright dismissal in Paramus Municipal Court. Getting the facts and straight, honest answers from a Paramus criminal defense attorney can be your first step toward a successful resolution when disorderly conduct charges are hanging over your head. At The Tormey Law Firm, we pride ourselves on the ability to deliver, as we fight tirelessly everyday on behalf of clients in Paramus and throughout Bergen County. If you would like to speak with an attorney about your disorderly conduct case in Paramus, NJ, just call (201)-556-1570 or send us a message for a free consultation today.
Facing Paramus Disorderly Conduct Charges
The New Jersey disorderly conduct statute divides disorderly conduct into improper behavior and offensive language. Typical disorderly conduct involves fighting, arguing loudly, using profanity, or being drunk in public. It also includes making threats, inducing violence, and creating hazardous conditions unnecessarily. Notably, disorderly conduct must occur in a public place to amount to a violation of the statute, section 2C:33-2. The law defines “public” as any place where a substantial number of people gather, from bars, restaurants and schools, to highways, prisons and post offices.
If charged with disorderly conduct, a petty disorderly persons offense, a defendant will not be indicted by a grand jury, but instead, have their case heard by the presiding municipal court judge in municipal court. In fact, a petty disorderly persons offense is not technically a crime in the typical sense of a felony. However, it is a criminal offense, like a misdemeanor, handled in the municipal court near where the offense occurred.
Charged with Disorderly Conduct in Paramus, What are the Punishments?
Although a jail sentence is atypical, a person charged with disorderly conduct could face up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.00. A judge could also order other conditions of sentencing, such as anger management classes, counseling or other services, depending on the offense committed and the circumstances surrounding the case. Moreover, disorderly conduct is often accompanied by more serious charges such as simple assault or resisting arrest. If charged with a disorderly persons offense in addition to disorderly conduct, the potential repercussions escalate.
A disorderly conduct offense conviction stays on your criminal record and shows up on school and employment background checks, potentially even disqualifying you from certain jobs in government, law enforcement, and healthcare, for example. However, you can get a petty disorderly persons offense conviction expunged or removed from your permanent record five years after completing your sentence, so long as you have fewer than four disorderly or petty disorderly persons offenses total.
Municipal Ordinance Violations in Paramus NJ
The borough of Paramus in Bergen County, once a rural panorama of wild turkeys, the earliest pioneers dating back to 1695, and the noteworthy Paramus Road, was previously a pre-settler Indian trail turned strategic roadway for the American Revolution. Times have certainly changed and Paramus is now known for giant shopping malls, like the Garden State Plaza and Bergen Mall. Only 20 miles by the George Washington Bridge to downtown Manhattan, Paramus is a bustling suburb. In fact, people from neighboring counties come to shop at its mega shopping centers, enjoying nearby restaurants, bars and entertainment. Paramus also houses Bergen Community College, Van Saun County Park, Paramus Historical Museum and four major golf courses. Within its 10.5 square miles, however, residents encounter high property crime, compared to other cities of its size. Violent crime is comparably lower, but lower-level criminal offenses like disorderly conduct are extremely common in the borough. In addition, there are numerous municipal ordinances that can lead to violations for residents and visitors of Paramus alike.
In a case involving disorderly conduct, you may be able to plea to a lesser offense, such as a municipal ordinance violation, which often comes with lower fines and does not appear as a criminal conviction on your record. Depending on your case, especially with no prior crimes or offenses in your history, your attorney may be able to convince the prosecutor and judge to agree to reducing a disorderly conduct charge to an ordinance violation. When your case is resolved in this manner, your ability to answer “no” about criminal offenses in your past is maintained and your record will not reflect a criminal offense conviction on a background check.
Need a Paramus Disorderly Conduct Defense Attorney
While disorderly conduct is presumptively a non-incarceration petty disorderly persons offense, it is still a serious charge, given the extent to which a criminal record can limit your opportunities in the future. A conviction may also enhance the penalties associated with future offenses and disqualify you from programs like Conditional Discharge and Pre-Trial Intervention. With this in mind, it is crucial to have an experienced Paramus criminal defense attorney advocating for your rights and working to get you the best possible outcome. Ideally, you want someone familiar with the Paramus Municipal Court who has been appearing there for years. With an office previously located just across the street from Paramus Municipal Court, our attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are uniquely qualified when it comes to defending clients facing criminal charges in Paramus. We have successfully resolved countless disorderly conduct cases in Paramus and elsewhere in Bergen County and we are ready to fight for you. Contact us at (201)-556-1570 if you would like a free consultation and get ready to mount your best defense.