What is a Disorderly Persons Offense in NJ?
What are the Penalties for a Disorderly Persons Offense in NJ?
The State of New Jersey divides offenses into two categories, Indictable Offenses and Non-Indictable Offenses. These two categories are more commonly referred to as Felonies and Misdemeanors. An indictable offense is one that is handled at the County level by the Superior Court, while a non-indictable offense is handled at a Municipal (township) level by the appropriate Municipal Court. If convicted of a Disorderly Persons offense, the Defendant carries out their period of incarceration (if there is one) at a County Jail as opposed to a State Prison. Being convicted of a Disorderly Persons offense does not subject the Defendant to the same loss of legal rights as being convicted of an indictable offense. This means that a person convicted of a Disorderly Persons offense will not lose their right to vote or their right to serve as a juror, or other rights taken away for a conviction of an indictable offense. Some of the most common disorderly persons offenses charged in Morris County are possession of marijuana under 50 grams, simple assault, shoplifting, disorderly conduct and harassment. If you have been charged with any of these offenses, in towns like Madison, Montville, Pequannock, Dover, Denville, Chatham, Washington or Boonton, the Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall can help. For a free consultation with any one of the eight Morris County, New Jersey criminal defense lawyers on staff, please contact our Morristown Office at 973.309.7050.
Can an Indictable Offense be Downgraded to a Disorderly Persons Offense?
There are a large amount of offenses in the New Jersey Criminal Code that vary in degree from a Disorderly Persons offense to a crime of the Fourth, Third, and sometimes even Second and First degree depending upon the existence of aggravating factors or specific circumstances. In this case, a Prosecutor often has discretion to determine whether to seek an indictment or file a complaint for a Disorderly Persons Offense. If the Prosecutor initially obtains an indictment, the case can still be downgraded to a Disorderly Persons offense if a Superior Court Judge grants his or her consent.
What are the Penalties for a Disorderly Persons Offense?
A person convicted of a Disorderly Persons offense is subject to a period of incarceration no longer than six (6) months. The maximum fine that can be imposed for a Disorderly Persons offense is $1,000. A petty disorderly persons offense is punishable by up to thirty (30) days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
What are common Disorderly Persons Offenses?
As stated above, some of the most common Disorderly Persons Offenses include Possession of Less than 50 grams of Marijuana, Criminal Mischief, Receiving Stolen Property, Shoplifting (depending on the amount), Harassment, and Simple Assault. Often times the conduct that can constitute a Disorderly Persons offense could also constitute a more serious indictable offense depending on the surrounding facts or circumstances, making it very important to hire an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney to be by your side the entire way.
Experienced Morristown NJ Criminal Defense Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been charged with a disorderly persons offense in towns like Butler, Rockaway, Mount Olive, Roxbury, Morristown, Mendham or Parsippany, we can help. If you would like to discuss your options with any one of the eight Morris County criminal defense attorneys on staff, we can be reached 24/7 at 973.309.7050.