Disorderly Conduct Offenses in East Brunswick New Jersey
East Brunswick NJ Disorderly Conduct Defense Lawyer
A safe suburban community in Middlesex County, East Brunswick is a township known for its historic district and its surrounding rivers, the Raritan and South Rivers. Because of its waterways and major roadways running near or through the township, East Brunswick is recognized for its historical and current-day economic progress and development. With 137 miles of roads and nine parks and forests, East Brunswick attracts visitors while retaining its more than 40,000 residents. For its 22.5 square miles, it packs a lot of diversity and wealth within its borders. And close to the New York metropolitan area, the township sees a sizable influx of New York visitors who frequently come through East Brunswick. So, at any of the town’s stores, cafes, attractions, parks, and bistros featuring flavors of the world, you might find a diverse group of travelers, visitors, and hometown residents enjoying what East Brunswick has to offer. Though it is a safe place to live and raise your children, East Brunswick is not immune to drunk driving, drug crimes, and disorderly conduct that occurs in any metropolitan area.
It is common for young college students visiting one of the many downtown locales to be charged with disorderly conduct after a few rounds of pool and too many beers. Others may find themselves issued a summons for N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 if they get into fights with others at the bar or passersby on the streets downtown. It is also frequent that people end up facing penalties for offensive language when they scream profanities at one another, at others, or out the windows of their car. Even people who confront rambunctious drunks causing a disturbance could accidentally find themselves engaged in a scuffle or yelling and cursing. Less common but also a possibility, maybe someone gets a disorderly conduct offense allegation for setting off fireworks on a residential street where young kids could be playing, basis for improper behavior. All of these incidences could end up with you or a loved one being called to appear in East Brunswick Municipal Court for disorderly conduct. If the East Brunswick police arrested or charged you for breaching the peace, you ought to consider calling a criminal defense attorney who knows all about defending against disorderly conduct offenses in East Brunswick. Though most consider a disorderly conduct offense minor, you might be surprised at the extent of the consequences you may suffer. With an attorney’s expertise, experience, education, and familiarity with the local terrain, you could be equally surprised to know that you can fight the charges, or at minimum, lessen the penalties associated with such criminal charges.
Penalties for Disorderly Conduct Charge in East Brunswick NJ
Disorderly conduct, though a petty disorderly persons charge, can have disastrous consequences. A petty disorderly persons offense is not a felony crime, but you can still be arrested, fingerprinted, and charged like anyone who has committed a crime. An arrest or even just filing charges, and conviction will become part of your record until you get it expunged. Also, a conviction means you can pay up to $500.00 in fines and spend up to 30 days in jail. You will probably pay additional assessments toward safe neighborhood funds and crime victim compensation organizations, in addition to restitution to any victims. And if the police stopped you for screaming profanities from your car, you are looking at a possible two-year license suspension. Worse yet, your criminal charges could get you in trouble at your college, even leading to a suspension or issues with your eligibility to play a sport or otherwise participate in school-run organizations.
How does the East Brunswick Prosecutor get a Disorderly Conduct Conviction
Fortunately, you must be convicted in East Brunswick Municipal Court for the petty disorderly persons offense of disorderly conduct. To prove their case against you, the municipal court prosecutor must establish that your actions amounted to improper behavior (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 (a)) or included offensive language (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2(b)). Neither the term improper nor offensive is concretely defined, with a broad range of acts that may fall under the premise of either. Typical improper behavior includes menace, meaning fighting, creating danger to others for no reason, threatening, being violent, or creating havoc and tumult. So, if the police arrest you for public drunkenness and you give the police officer a hard time by being belligerent and disobeying their instructions, you may end up with disorderly conduct charges thrown at you. And language is offensive if it is publicly hurled at others who clearly could hear it and be offended by it. It is easy to see how someone’s interpretation of the situation plays such a major role in a disorderly conduct case. Basically, this type of criminal charge is often applied in cases in which there is no other applicable charge that would lead to a person being criminally charged and called to local court.
Ways to Challenge a N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2 Offense in East Brunswick Court
Since disorderly conduct ends up on your record, you want to show up in court ready to defend yourself. With a sharp criminal lawyer handling the case, you could negotiate a plea bargain and avoid a trial. By showing the prosecutor the risks involved in going forward with a trial, your attorney may be persuasive enough to secure a plea bargain to avoid jail time in favor or probation, dismissal of the charges, or lessening the offense to a municipal ordinance violation. Many municipalities have ordinances like breach of the peace offenses or other non-criminal infractions. The penalties for ordinance violations are typically lower than petty disorderly persons offenses. Moreover, you may get away with paying a fine and avoiding the charge appearing on your record. In addition, a skilled East Brunswick criminal attorney may paint your circumstances in a sympathetic light to get the prosecutor to agree that you simply shouldn’t have a marred record or jail time. As such, the prosecutor may agree to divert you to a program like conditional dismissal rather than seek to convict, leaving you with a criminal record.
A criminal record not only potentially ruins your good standing at many educational institutions but also complicates your employment opportunities. Those companies and sole employers who run background checks will find your disorderly conduct charge and conviction. And when it comes to a choice between the best candidates, you may be as qualified or more than the next candidate, but you may not get the job for your record. Fortunately, you can get your disorderly conduct charge expunged from your record. The timing depends on the outcome of your case. If dismissed, you can expunge your arrest record right away. Otherwise, you may have to wait two years for a municipal ordinance violation or at the end of probation or conditional dismissal program completion, plus six months. Once your case is resolved, your criminal defense attorney can also instruct you on how to do that.