A look at the new law affecting disorderly person offense cases
One day the police show up on your doorstep and inform you that you are being arrested. You ask what the charge is. The officer tells you that you are being arrested for a disorderly person offense. What does that mean and what kind of punishment should you be expecting?
First, let us give you a brief description on New Jersey criminal laws. Unlike other states, New Jersey doesn’t define charges as a felony or a misdemeanor. Instead, there are two different categories that your offense will fall under:
- Petty disorderly person offenses – these types of crimes usually aren’t that serious. These include harassment or disorderly conduct.
- Disorderly person offenses – this is the more serious crime and includes assault and drug charges.
A new law took effect earlier this month that offers a conditional dismissal program for eligible first-time defendants charged with certain disorderly person offenses. This is a great benefit to a first-time offender because the program allows the person to go into the program without ever entering a plea. So you will never be on record for a guilty plea. In order to be eligible, you must have never been convicted previously of any petty disorderly persons offense or crime and have not participated in any type of conditional discharge, program or dismissal. There are some offenses that are not included in this deal, such as drug offenses and DUIs.
Have you been arrested for a disorderly person offense? New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Anthony Carbone is prepared to win your case! Contact us today for a free consultation. Click here for more information on criminal defenses.