What Are the Potential Penalties? When Does Sentencing Take Place? Are There Sentencing Alternatives?
In New Jersey, when you’ve committed a less serious violation of the law, you won’t be charged with a misdemeanor. Instead, you may face prosecution for either a disorderly persons offense or a petty disorderly persons offense. Because a disorderly persons offense is technically not considered a crime under New Jersey law, defendants do not have the right to a trial by jury, but still are entitled to representation by legal counsel.
What Are the Potential Penalties for Conviction of a Disorderly Persons Offense?
For petty disorderly offenses, the potential sanctions can be up to 30 days in jail and/or fines of up to $500. For the more serious disorderly persons offenses, you can face up to six months of incarceration and as much as $1,000 in fines.
When Are Defendants Sentenced in Disorderly Persons Cases?
That often depends on the seriousness of the crime. For most disorderly persons offenses, the judge will impose sentence immediately following a guilty plea or verdict. The judge will typically defer to the wishes of prosecutors when there is a plea bargain, but always retains the right to impose a different penalty.
What Are the Common Types of Penalties Imposed in Disorderly Persons Cases?
Though the judge always has the discretion to impose fines or incarceration, the court may also opt for probation, community service or a combination thereof. In cases involving a motor vehicle (such as DUI/DWI), the judge may suspend driving privileges. Court costs may also be demanded of a defendant.
Alternative sanctions available to the courts include:
- Pre-trial diversionary programs, where a sentence may be suspended if the defendant completes counseling or educational programs
- Conditional dismissal, available in limited circumstances, where the defendant will be placed on probation for a specific period of time, and all charges will be dismissed if the defendant completes the probationary period without issue
Can Disorderly Persons Offenses Be Expunged?
Yes, depending on the specific charges, as well as the defendant’s criminal record after the initial conviction.
Contact Attorney Matthew V. Markosian to Protect Your Constitutional Rights
To set up an appointment with attorney Matthew V. Markosian, call us at 609-455-2090 or contact our office by email. Evening and weekend appointments can be scheduled, upon request. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. Because of our experience and reputation, most of our new cases come to us as referrals from other attorneys, or from former clients.
Serving Clients in Princeton Junction and across the State of New Jersey
We Know the Potential Cost of a Criminal Conviction