Disorderly Conduct / Harassment
Disorderly Conduct is governed by statue N.J.S. 2C:33-2.
The wording of the statute sets forth acts which are considered disorderly and therefore constitute a petty disorderly persons offense. The statute specifically reads:
- Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he
- Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
- Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
- Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
"Public" means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood
As set forth above, disorderly conduct can include a variety of acts including fighting, yelling, or using overly offensive language. Individuals are often charged with disorderly conduct if they are involved in verbal altercations outside of bars and nightclubs at the Jersey Shore. Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense which means that it is punishable by up to 90 days in jail, a period of probation, fine and community service.
If you are charged with disorderly conduct at the Jersey Shore, contact our Jersey Shore defense attorneys. Our attorneys handle disorderly conduct matters throughout Monmouth and Ocean Counties including offenses which occur in Belmar, Lake Como, Wall and Manasquan.Defenses to Disorderly Conduct
Disorderly conduct or offensive language can sometimes be protected by an individual’s first amendment right to freedom of speech. In order for the individual to be convicted of disorderly conduct, the individual must have the purpose to offend or cause a disturbance. If the individual did not have that purpose, the disorderly conduct charge may be dismissed. Another potential defense to a disorderly conduct charge may be self-defense. If an individual is involved in a physical altercation but was acting in self-defense, the individual may not be guilty of disorderly conduct if the reason for the altercation was self-defense. Finally, disorderly conduct is not properly charged if the disturbance occurred inside a home or in a non-public place. The statute specifically sets forth that the conduct must occur in a public place where the general public has access. Therefore, a charge of disorderly conduct may not be appropriate if the disturbance occurred inside a home and therefore the charge may be dismissed.Contact Us
If you or someone you know has been charged with disorderly conduct at the Jersey Shore, call our law firm day or night. Our Jersey Shore Defense Lawyers offer a free consultation to anyone who has been charged with a criminal offense at the Jersey Shore. Additionally, our law firm is conveniently located on the border of Wall and Belmar off of Route 138. Contact us today. We can help.