Misdemeanors and Disorderly Persons

New Jersey has many disorderly persons offenses in its criminal law. Disorderly persons offenses are minor crimes often called misdemeanors in other states. Typical disorderly persons offenses are simple assault, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, minor drug cases and minor property damage and theft. Most disorderly persons offenses are handled in local municipal courts.

If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense, you should consult an attorney. Disorderly persons offenses can carry up to six months in jail.

There are some diversion programs available in the municipal courts for disorderly persons offenses involving simple assault, minor drug possession and similar offenses. Completion of a diversion program can result in complete dismissal of the charges.

Paul Brickfield has been representing clients charged with disorderly persons offenses in New Jersey for over 30 years. He has vast experience in this area and has successfully represented many clients in reaching either outright dismissals or other favorable resolutions of cases. You should consult an attorney before attempting to handle a disorderly persons offense matter on your own. Unfortunately, on occasion, we have clients come to us who have already pled guilty to a disorderly persons offense believing that since they only paid a fine there was no consequence. Some of these clients are shocked to find that they have actually have a criminal record as a result of the guilty plea. Clients are often not aware that there are many good resolutions for these charges, including the Conditional Dismissal diversion program, where after a period of good behavior, the charge may be dismissed completely. Likewise, prosecutors often will downgrade or reduce these charges, sometimes to a municipal ordinance, which is a violation of a municipal law and is not considered to be a crime.