Disorderly Persons Charges

What is a disorderly person's offense and how is it different than a crime?

In New Jersey there are two types of criminal offenses: crimes and disorderly persons offenses. In many States, these offenses are referred to as felonies and misdemeanors. The basic distinctions between crimes and disorderly persons offenses are the amount of jail time a person could serve, who prosecutes the case and the court that hears the case.

1.             Crimes are punishable by more than six months in jail. Depending on the severity of the crime, the crime is classified as a first, second, third or fourth degree crime. First degree crimes are the most serious. A person convicted of a first degree crime may be sentenced to between ten and twenty years in prison. A person convicted of a second degree crime may be sentenced to between five and ten years in prison. A person convicted of a third degree crime may be sentenced to between three and five years in prison. A person convicted of a fourth degree crime may be sentenced to up to eighteen months in prison.

2.             Disorderly persons offenses are punishable by up to a maximum of six months in jail.

Crimes are prosecuted by either the County Prosecutor's Office or the Attorney General's Office in Superior Court. A municipal prosecutor prosecutes disorderly persons offenses in municipal court. If a case involves a crime and a disorderly persons offense, the case will by prosecuted by either the County Prosecutor's Office or the Attorney General's Office in Superior Court.

When faced with a Disorderly Persons offense in the Municipal Courts, Avery & Avery can be of assistance in obtaining the best result possible and in minimizing any negative impact on the rest of your life.


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