If you have been stopped on suspicion of driving while intoxicated in New Jersey it is possible that you have also been charged with disorderly conduct. This is a very common offense in New Jersey. Technically speaking, there's no such thing as a “drunk and disorderly” charge in New Jersey though many people use the term. What they're generally referring to is a charge of disorderly conduct under the laws of New Jersey for being drunk in public. You don't have to be drunk to be charged with disorderly conduct, but that is often one of the reasons police and prosecutors pursue such charges. At the very least, alcohol consumption often contributes to the actions that lead to disorderly conduct charges.
What Is Disorderly Conduct?
The New Jersey disorderly conduct statute defines disorderly conduct as engaging in fighting, threatening, violent or tumultuous behavior, or creating a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act that serves no legitimate purpose. The use of offensive language can also be considered disorderly conduct when used in a public place “with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in a reckless disregard of the probability of so doing.”
Penalties For Disorderly Conduct In Ocean County
Disorderly conduct fall into two levels under New Jersey State Law: petty disorderly persons or disorderly persons offense. A petty disorderly person charge is a less severe criminal offense and can carry up to 30 days of jail time and fines up to $500. A petty disorderly conduct includes charges of harassment and fist fighting between consenting parties. A disorderly person offense is a more serious charge and can include assault, shoplifting, resisting arrest and minor drug possession. These offenses are punishable by up to six months in jail and a maximum fine of up to $1000.
Hire A Lawyer If You're Charged With Disorderly Conduct And Drunk Driving
If you are facing charges of disorderly conduct, it is critical that you obtain legal representation so you can explore your options and build a competent defense right away. You may want to consider the attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ whose experience and qualified legal assistance can help you obtain the best possible outcome. Disorderly conduct may be a petty offense, but the consequences are anything but. Jail time, fines and a criminal record can all do long lasting damage especially when they're paired with a potential DWI conviction.