Disorderly Persons Offense Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

Photo by Samantha Gades on Unsplash

The idea of a Disorderly Persons Offense can seem vague and confusing, especially in New Jersey, where the surrounding laws become a bit complicated. David C. Barry and his team have spent years studying these laws. Let us help you clear up some of the misinformation.

Disorderly Persons Offense: An Umbrella Term

Think of a Disorderly Persons Offense as an umbrella. It covers several different types of offenses. This is generally true across all of the United States. On a broad level, a Disorderly Persons Offense refers to unruly behavior. The type of loud and disruptive behavior that comes from public intoxication often results in this kind of charge. However, one doesn’t have to be drunk to get charged with a Disorderly Persons Offense. Any type of “disturbing the peace” can lead to a charge of a Disorderly Persons Offense.

New Jersey Specifics

A lot of specific crimes can fall under the umbrella of the Disorderly Persons Offense in New Jersey. Shoplifting, or knowingly stealing items from a store, may contribute to a disorderly person’s case. Criminal Mischief also counts as such an offense, as it involves destroying or tampering with another person’s property. The Disorderly Persons Offense absorbs many juvenile cases into its label. Because this broad category encompasses so many different offenses, a charge of both disorderly conduct, as well as a more specific charge, could apply. A Disorderly Persons Offense is not, in and of itself, considered a crime. However, a disorderly person’s charge can still result in a criminal record.


If an officer charges you with disorderly conduct, you could face a range of different penalties. This offense can result in up to six months in a county jail, up to $1000 in fines, and community service. The exact penalties will depend on a lot of different factors, including the type of Disorderly Persons Offense committed.

Finding Your Attorney

If you’ve decided to seek legal counsel, you’ll want to consider a lot of different factors when choosing the right lawyer. First, look for an attorney who has experience working with Disorderly Persons Offenses. This step is especially important because of the complications with laws regarding disorderly conduct. It’s best to seek an attorney who has spent a lot of time studying this part of the law. The most helpful attorneys will be able to explain the essential terms for you in a way that most people, not just other lawyers, can understand.

Seek Legal Advice

If you do need legal advice, David C Barry would love to talk to you. With years of experience working with Disorderly Persons Offenses, David C Barry understands the ins and outs of these very confusing laws. If you’d like more information, please feel free to visit our Contact Us page today. We’re available via email at [email protected]. You can reach us via telephone at 732-204-7387. Or you can fill out the contact form located on the right side of our website’s homepage.