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Disorderly Conduct Charge in New Jersey Municipal Court

New Jersey statute (N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2) prohibits a person from engaging in disorderly conduct. Although it may appear like a minor criminal offense, a disorderly conduct conviction can result in a variety of penalties, including jail time, a fine, and probation. It is important to understand the charge and the penalties that may result if convicted.

Disorderly Conduct Offense

Common acts considered disorderly conduct include public drunkenness, disturbance of the peace, fighting, abusive language, and obstruction of traffic. There are two types of disorderly conduct charges. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense when the person engages in either of the following:

Improper behavior:

A person engages in disorderly conduct if, with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, the person

  1. Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
  2. Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any kind of act that does not serve a legitimate purpose of the actor.

Offensive language:

A person engages in disorderly conduct 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, the person uses 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.

The statute defines a public place as any place that the public or a substantial group has access. Public places include highways, schools, prisons, apartment buildings, business establishments, or in any neighborhood.

Penalty for Disorderly Conduct

A conviction for a petty disorderly persons offense can result in a jail term and fines. The penalty may include up to six months in jail and a fine, which varies, but may be as high as $1,000. A conviction will also result in a criminal record and may result in a term of probation.

If you have been arrested for disorderly conduct, it is important to take the charge seriously. Our firm may be able to help you negotiate a diminished sentence. Our firm has locations throughout the Northern New Jersey area, including in Ridgefield Park, New Brunswick, Montclair, West New York and Parsippany. Call The Cintron Firm at (201)791-1333 to schedule an appointment with a New Jersey criminal lawyer.


The Cintron Firm has locations in Ridgefield Park, New Brunswick, Montclair, and Totowa and serve the following New Jersey cities and counties: Morris County, Essex County, Bergen County, Passaic County, Englewood Cliffs, Ridgewood, Little Falls, Paramus, Paterson, Wayne, Lincoln Park, Hackensack, Lodi, Passaic, Cliffside Park, Caldwell, Belleville, Union City, East Orange, Newark, Union, Elizabeth, Irvington, Brunswick, Byram, Denville and Rockaway.



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