What is Disorderly Conduct?

In the state of New Jersey, there are laws that prohibit people from engaging in disruptive or undesirable conduct. The conduct that is criminalized by our disorderly conduct laws is varied, and law can be used by law enforcement or arrest people causing a variety of public disturbances. Disorderly conduct is serious criminal offense in the state of New Jersey, and anyone accused of it should contact an experienced lawyer as soon as possible.

In the New Jersey disorderly conduct statute, there are two main categories of conduct that are prohibited by law. These are “improper behavior” and “offensive language” both of which are detailed below.

Improper Behavior

The first type of conduct addressed by the statute is improper behavior. According to the law, a person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he or she engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior, or creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor. Examples of improper behavior include a bar fight or physically threatening another person.

Offensive Language

The use of offensive language is also addressed by the statute. The law states that a person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if he or she, “in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses 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.”

Within the context of the law, “public” does not mean non-private property; the law clarifies that it means a place that to which the public or a substantial group has access to, including apartment buildings, schools, highways, places of business, facilities for transportation, prisons, neighborhoods, or places of amusement. As a result, you could easily be accused of disorderly conduct for offensive language used at a private business or while at school or work.

Call a New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Today for More Information

If you have been accused of disorderly conduct or any other type of crime, you should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. To discuss your options with New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Robert DePersia, call our office today at 856-795-9688 or send us an email through our online contact form.