Defending Against Disorderly Persons Charges in NJ
Disorderly persons charges in New Jersey are quite serious for those charged. While they may not carry the same lengthy prison sentences and heavy fines as felonies, they still may result in incarceration, minor fines, and a stain on the offender’s permanent criminal record. Disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons are considered criminal offenses, and an experienced attorney will use many of the same legal defenses as they would in felony criminal trials.
Today, our disorderly persons defense lawyers will define disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons, municipal ordinance violations and felonies, and offer examples of viable defenses that may be used to see charges reduced or outright dismissed.
What Charges are Considered Disorderly Persons Offenses in Passaic County, NJ?
Disorderly persons offenses are considered criminal charges, but lesser criminal charges than felonies. Disorderly persons charges in New Jersey are akin to misdemeanor charges in many other states. Petty disorderly persons offenses are considered even less severe than disorderly persons charges. Some of the disorderly persons charges our Passaic County criminal defense attorneys commonly see include:
- Marijuana possession in lesser amounts
- Petty theft
- Shoplifting items valued at under $200
- Resisting Arrest
- Simple assault
- Criminal mischief where damages are valued at under $200
- Disorderly conduct
Convictions of disorderly persons offenses can carry up to six (6) months in county jail, fines between $500 and $1,000, and a permanent mark on your public criminal record. Disorderly persons may be eligible for expungement after a five (5) year waiting period.
Clifton Disorderly Persons Defense Attorneys Identify Common Legal Defenses
As evidenced in the previous section, disorderly persons is a classification or gradation of charges, not a criminal charge in and of itself. Therefore, your Clifton disorderly persons attorney will need to consider the exact charges you fact to determine a quality legal defense. However, there are a number of high level strategies which hold true when a qualified and experienced attorney seeks to dismiss or reduce your disorderly persons charges.
Downgrade disorderly persons charges to a municipal ordinance violation. Below disorderly persons offenses are municipal ordinance violations. Many charges such as petty theft, disorderly conduct, and so forth can be downgraded to municipal ordinance violations, which are not considered criminal charges. Therefore, convictions for municipal ordinance violations will not result in a mark on your criminal record.
Participate in a diversionary program. The state of New Jersey offers a litany of diversionary programs intended to keep petty offenders out of jail or prison. A common example is first-time offenders found with small amounts of marijuana. These individuals may be eligible for a conditional discharge, which may include probation, drug testing, and keeping a clean criminal record for a certain period of time.
Challenging the evidence in your case. All criminal court cases are based on concrete evidence being used against the defendant. There are many ways an experienced criminal defense attorney can challenge how this evidence was gathered, the nature of the evidence, and whether or not the evidence proves the offenders’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
Much more. Your attorney will work with you and your family to develop the strongest legal defense that suits your situation.
Contact our Woodland Park Disorderly Persons Defense Lawyers Today
The criminal defense attorneys of The Montanari Law Group have extensive experience defending clients against disorderly persons charges across Passaic County communities including Woodland Park, Paterson, Clifton, Wayne, Little Falls, West Milford and all of Northern New Jersey. We are dedicated to providing highly personalized and effective legal defenses aimed at seeing our clients’ charges reduced to municipal ordinance violations, differed as part of a diversionary program or dropped. Your career, your social life, your reputation, and your family life all may depend on the skills of your legal advocate.
If you or a loved one is facing disorderly persons, petty disorderly persons, or felony charges in New Jersey, please contact us online or throughout Woodland Park, NJ offices by calling (973) 233-4396
today for a free and confidential consultation.