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Bergen County Disorderly Persons Offense Lawyer

Disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses are the most common variety of non-motor vehicle charge prosecuted in Municipal Court in New Jersey. If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense, the most important thing you need to know is that a record of a resulting conviction will show up on a criminal background check. It is therefore extremely important that you retain an experienced New Jersey defense attorney to insure that your complaint is downgraded to a Municipal Ordinance or dismissed altogether. Jennifer M. Mendelsohn, Esq. has defended many different types of disorderly persons charges in New Jersey and she is familiar with how these cases need to be handled. Make sure your complaint and/or arrest does not result in your being convicted, and contact the Law Offices of Jennifer M. Mendelsohn, LLC today at 201-957-0515 for a free consultation.

What Are the Most Frequently Encountered Disorderly Persons Offenses in Municipal Court?

*Simple Assault
*Drug Paraphernalia
*Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana
*Disorderly Conduct
*Resisting Arrest
*Bad Checks

What Are the Penalties If Convicted of These Charges?

The penalties under New Jersey law for individuals convicted of a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense or regular Disorderly Persons Offense include a jail sentence of up to six (6) months. The Court may also impose a monetary fine of up to $1,000. Any conviction also carries mandatory assessments of $50 for the Victims of Crime Compensation Board (VCCB), $75 for the Safe Neighborhood Services Fund, and $33 in court costs.

What's the Difference Between a "Crime" and Disorderly Persons Charge?

The New Jersey code refers to violations of law in terms of "crime" or "offense". Whenever the code uses the term offense, it is referring to a disorderly person or petty disorderly person charge. By contrast, a crime is an offense that is customarily defined as a felony in other states and involves exposure to six (6) months or more in possible incarceration in jail. An individual is entitled to have allegations of a crime presented to a grand jury, hence NJ's reference to these offenses as Indictable. An individual arrested for a Disorderly Persons offense has no right to a grand jury as these are non-indictable charges punishable by a maximum period of imprisonment of six (6) months.

What's the Statute of Limitations for Filing Disorderly Persons Cases?

The statute of limitation for prosecution of disorderly persons offenses like simple assault, harassment, bad checks or the like is one (1) year. What this means is that a complaint alleging, for example, resisting arrest, possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana or obstruction or drug paraphernalia, must be filed with the Court within a year of commission of the related offense or the complaint is barred from prosecution by virtue of it being out-of-time under the law of New Jersey.

Expungement of Disorderly Person Convictions

A person who has been convicted of a disorderly or petty disorderly persons offense may seek expungement five (5) years following conviction or completion of probation and payment of fines, whichever is later. Eligibility to have a petty or disorderly persons offense expunged is limited to individuals with no more than three (3) convictions of this nature and persons who have never been convicted of a "crime".

If you would like more information about disorderly persons charges, Attorney Mendelsohn is eager and ready to assist you NOW!

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