New Jersey Juvenile Disorderly Persons Offenses

Juvenile Defense Lawyers in Hudson County and throughout New Jersey

Juvenile charges for disorderly persons offenses are among the most common in New Jersey, as minors are often arrested for relatively minor criminal offenses such as possession of marijuana or drug paraphernalia, disorderly conduct, simple assault, shoplifting, underage drinking, or possession of a fake ID. As a juvenile or the parent of a juvenile issued a criminal complaint, you likely have many questions about the specific charges, potential consequences, and the process moving forward. It is in these moments that an experienced juvenile defense lawyer can provide much needed answers, guidance, and reassurance that everything can, and will be worked out. Alissa Hascup is a highly skilled New Jersey juvenile defense attorney who fights on behalf of young people charged with disorderly persons offenses and indictable crimes in courts across the State. With offices in Hackensack, Morristown, Newark, and Camden, our firm appears in courts in Morris County, Bergen County, Passaic County, Essex County, Hudson County, and throughout New Jersey on a regular basis. If you have a child who was charged with a disorderly persons offense, or you are a juvenile wondering about your charges and what to do next, contact our offices at 862-257-1200 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable NJ juvenile attorney.

What is a Disorderly Persons Offense in NJ

A disorderly persons offense is a low-level criminal offense in New Jersey, similar to a misdemeanor. As a juvenile, you can be issued a criminal complaint for an offense that would otherwise constitute a disorderly persons offense if committed by an adult. Notably, disorderly persons offenses are technically criminal offenses, which result in a charge on your record, but they are not indictable crimes, which means they are not subject to indictment by a grand jury.

What are the Potential Penalties for Disorderly Persons Offenses

An adult who is charged with a disorderly persons offense is exposed to serious penalties including: up to 6 months in the county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, and a conviction on their criminal record that can only be removed through the process of expungement. For a juvenile charged with a disorderly persons offense, often referred to simply as a “DP,” you also face up to 6 months in juvenile detention. However, the juvenile justice system is governed by an entirely different standard than the criminal justice system for adults. Juvenile Courts in New Jersey are required to put the best interests of the child first, and to promote the rehabilitation and reform of juvenile offenders with the sentences they impose if a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent. As a result, juvenile defendants are offered a host of alternative sentences that may not be considered for adults, including: deferred disposition (charges dismissed after fulfilling certain court-ordered conditions); community service, fines, probation, restitution payment to the victim, support services, release to a parent or guardian, mental health counseling, drug or alcohol treatment, letters of apology, essays and book reports, driver’s license suspension, as well as work or educational programs.

How is a Disorderly Persons Case Handled in Court

For a juvenile arrested for a disorderly persons offense such as criminal mischief, your case will either be resolved in the police station with what is known as a stationhouse adjustment, or a criminal complaint will be filed and sent to the Family Division of the Superior Court in the county where you live, as well the Juvenile Unit of the County Prosecutor’s Office. The State will then review the case and decide whether it should be handled through formal hearing before a Juvenile Judge or through a less formal proceeding like a Juvenile Referee or Juvenile Conference Committee. Regardless of the way that your case proceeds, it is highly advisable to have a juvenile defense attorney who is familiar with both formal and informal juvenile procedure and can work toward achieving the best possible outcome in your case.

New Jersey Disorderly Persons Offense Law – N.J.S.A . 2C:1 4

The New Jersey Statute that defines disorderly persons offenses is N.J.S.A . 2C:1 4, which provides:

2C:1 4 Classes of offenses

a. An offense defined by this code or by any other statute of this State, for which a sentence of imprisonment in excess of six months is authorized, constitutes a crime within the meaning of the Constitution of this State. Crimes are designated in this code as being of the first, second, third or fourth degree.

b. An offense is a disorderly persons offense if it is so designated in this code or in a statute other than this code. An offense is a petty disorderly persons offense if it is so designated in this code or in a statute other than this code. Disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses are petty offenses and are not crimes within the meaning of the Constitution of this State. There shall be no right to indictment by a grand jury nor any right to trial by jury on such offenses. Conviction of such offenses shall not give rise to any disability or legal disadvantage based on conviction of a crime.

c. An offense defined by any statute of this State other than this code shall be classified as provided in this section or in section 2C:43-1 and, except as provided in section 2C:1-5b and chapter 43, the sentence that may be imposed upon conviction thereof shall hereafter be governed by this code. Insofar as any provision outside the code declares an offense to be a misdemeanor when such offense specifically provides a maximum penalty of 6 months’ imprisonment or less, whether or not in combination with a fine, such provision shall constitute a disorderly persons offense.

Contact a Hoboken NJ Juvenile Disorderly Persons Attorney for a Free Consultation

Are you a juvenile who was charged with a disorderly persons offense Are you the parent of a child arrested for a disorderly persons offense in New Jersey The Law Offices of Alissa Hascup can help. Our highly experienced juvenile defense team is prepared to walk you through every stage of the juvenile legal process and we are committed to reaching the most favorable outcome in your juvenile case. Simply call 862-257-1200 today for additional information and a free consultation. We defend minors facing criminal charges in Hoboken, Jersey City, Paramus, Fort Lee, Parsippany, Newark, Clifton, Paterson, Somerville, New Brunswick, and throughout New Jersey.