disorderly conduct

Disorderly Conduct: What is it?

Disorderly conduct is also known as disturbing the peace or breach of the peace. In New Jersey there are laws in place that criminalize the undesirable activities that are grouped under the disorderly conduct charge. These actions all share the commonality that they will most likely disrupt, anger, or annoy other people. Some of the actions grouped under disorderly conduct may not strike you as important, but make no mistake, being convicted of any crime is something you want to avoid at all costs.

What Constitutes Disorderly Conduct?

There are several specific actions that are classified as disorderly conduct:

  • Fighting;
  • Threatening others;
  • Engaging in violent behaviors;
  • Creating dangerous or hazardous situations for no meaningful purpose; and
  • Using loud and offensive language in public.

There are several other actions that at first glance might surprise you, but that do indeed rise to the level of criminal action:

  • Smoking on public transportation or smoking in any public place where smoking is prohibited (by either governance or by the owner) and where that smoking ban is posted;
  • Rioting, which is defined as engaging in a fight, threatening violence, or creating a dangerous condition that involves four or more others;
  • Refusing or failing to obey an official’s order to disperse; or
  • Falsely reporting a fire, explosion, bombing, crime, catastrophe, or emergency.

Interestingly, it’s also a form of disorderly conduct to picket at a funeral or memorial service in New Jersey. This action was added to the roster in an effort to prevent extremist groups from engaging in hate rhetoric and, by doing so, sullying the positive memorialization intended by the funeral or event.

These are not exhaustive lists, but in New Jersey, any of these actions can bring a charge of disorderly conduct.

Disorderly conduct encompasses many different actions, and they all represent criminal offenses. If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct, take the matter extremely seriously; criminal charges can have lingering and serious consequences. Engaging experienced legal counsel can make all the difference for your case.

Call 856-795-9688 today for a free consultation

Consulting an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney who is skilled in working with disorderly conduct cases can be instrumental to defending your case. Robert E. DePersia, II has the experience and the criminal defense expertise to help you develop a strong legal strategy and to effect the best possible outcome for your case. If you’ve been charged with disorderly conduct, call the Law Office of Robert E. DePersia, II at (856) 795-9688 and schedule your consultation today.