The Difference Between Municipal Ordinance Violations and Disorderly Persons Offenses

Posted November 3rd, 2017 by .

Categories: Criminal Defense.

Municipal Ordinance ViolationsCommonalities and contrasts between different laws and violations in the Garden State can be confusing. Luckily, the experts at the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone are here to help you understand the laws of New Jersey a little better.

We are going to discuss the differences between municipal ordinance violations and disorderly persons offenses. Before we dive into the contrasts, let define these terms.

Municipal Ordinance Violations

A municipal ordinance violation is the lowest degree of quasi criminal offense that exists. This type of violation can range anywhere from urinating in a public setting, drinking alcohol in public, having an open alcoholic beverage container, or something as simple as disorderly conduct.

While crime penalties are always frowned upon, the penalties for a municipal ordinance violation aren’t the end of the world. Usually, the penalties are mostly fines with no jail time whatsoever. The maximum fine can be $2,000, but the average fine ranges from $500 to $1,000. These violations also carry the benefit of not adding or starting an individual’s criminal record.

Disorderly Persons Offenses

The most common types of cases prosecuted within municipal courts in New Jersey are disorderly persons offenses. This offense is defined as a violation that can be related to a small amount of drugs, a simple assault, a petty theft, and similar acts.

Disorderly persons offenses are considered offenses and not crimes. Unlike a municipal ordinance violation, these offenses will go on or start an individual’s criminal record. If you would like to learn more information about these offenses, check out statute – N.J.S.A. 2C:1‑4 – in our database.

The Differences

As we stated previously, one of the differences between municipal ordinance violations and disorderly persons offenses is having the offense or violation added to your criminal record or not. To break that thought down even more; a disorderly persons offense is a criminal charge, while a municipal ordinance violation is not.

Other factors differentiating the two include:

  • Offensive language
  • Tumultuous behavior (such as fighting)
  • Creating a dangerous situation with no purpose to perpetrator

Contact Us

If you have been charged with either a municipal ordinance violation or disorderly persons offense, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone for a consultation.



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