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Articles Posted in Disorderly Conduct

I was contacted by several municipal prosecutors this work asking if we could work out some of my existing client’s cases by something called a plea by affidavit. This mechanism is typically only used for out of state residents or those who do not have the ability to come to court. As part of a plea by affidavit, there would typically be a requirements that the defendant provide reasons in a certification about why it would be a hardship for that person to come to court.

Obviously, given the covid 19 outbreak, Courts are not requiring such a thing for some matters. Most of the calls that I received were for traffic related offenses other than DWI. However, I suspect that in the coming weeks there will a push to resolve existing municipal court matters, including disorderly persons offenses (simple assault, marijuana possession, shoplifting,etc.) through a plea by affidavit. Otherwise the backlog of cases could get out of hand for the municipal court.

That being said, I think that there is a great opportunity for many of these cases to resolve very favorably for my clients and I will continue to push for this sort of resolution. In addition, just because the courts are closed does not mead that the police have stopped working. Over the course of the last few weeks, I have seen many DWI, domestic violence, shoplifting, harassment and drug arrest, just to name a few. I have been consulting with new and existing clients. I have been communicating with police records on my new cases and police records in many jurisdictions is providing discovery which give me the ability to work towards a resolution of the case.

Following an arrest for disorderly conduct, it is understandable that the suspect feels angry and confused, but it is important that he or she understands the legal rights and options that exist. Remaining uninformed and entering a guilty plea without first consulting with a trusted lawyer can lead to serious consequences that may have been otherwise avoided.

NJ Criminal DefenseAccording to NJ 2C:33-2, a person is guilty of disorderly conduct if he or she causes “public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk,” such as fighting, yelling, or threatening behavior. However, the term disorderly conduct can be applied to a broad range of actions or behaviors that a police officer deems to be dangerous or offensive.

Vague or “catch-all” charges, such as disorderly conduct, are often used when an officer cannot charge the suspect with any other crime or has misconstrued the suspect’s actions. For example, yelling or cursing loudly in public can result in a disorderly conduct charge, or simply loudly playing music.

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