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How is Disorderly Conduct Defined?

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How is Disorderly Conduct Defined?

April 25, 2017


According to New Jersey law, disorderly conduct is regarded as a “breach of the peace,” and can occur in various situations and circumstances. You could face arrest and be charged with this crime by acting improperly or using language that is considered offensive.

You will likely be arrested for disorderly conduct if you intentionally create a public inconvenience, annoyance or apprehension, or act recklessly in the creation of a risk of any of the following:

  • Fighting
  • Threatening
  • Commission of violent or boisterous behavior
  • Creation of a dangerous situation that serves no legal purpose

One instance of disorderly conduct is becoming involved in a bar fight. “Public” is defined as likely to have an impact on people in an area that is accessible to the public or a large group of people. Such places include highways, transport facilities, schools, jails, apartment buildings, offices buildings or other places where business is conducted, or any neighborhood.

Offensive language consists of words that are used to offend people within earshot in a reckless disregard for their feelings. Usually, offensive language is loud, crude or abusive. For example, if you are attending a game, and you begin to taunt and ridicule the fans of the opposing team, you could be in violation of the law.

In New Jersey, you could spend up to six months in jail for engaging in disorderly conduct. You may also be required to pay fines and compensate the victim. The statute of limitations is one year from the date of commission of the crime.

If you are convicted of disorderly conduct in New Jersey, you may be subject to a maximum fine of $500 plus assessments to Victims of Crime Compensation Board and to the Safe Neighborhood Services Fund in the amount of about $125. If you have not previously been convicted of an offense, you may spend up to 30 days in jail. If you used a motor vehicle during the commission of disorderly conduct, the court may suspend your driver’s license for a maximum of two years.


If you are facing a charge of disorderly conduct, call the criminal defense attorneys at Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza P.C. Regardless of your guilt or innocence, there are ways that they can help you realize the most favorable result.

“The attorney working on my personal injury case was knowledgable, courteous, and payed careful attention to every detail. He was sure to address any questions and concerns thoughtfully and respectfully. I have had an excellent experience interacting with the firm and I highly recommend the law firm of Rudnick, Addonizio, Pappa & Casazza to others.”

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