Maximum Penalties for Disorderly Persons Offense

Disorderly Persons Offense Photo by jodylehigh on Pixabay 

In New Jersey, a disorderly persons offense is described as something that causes disruption, shoplifting, fighting, making threats, or creating a dangerous environment. Individuals may also be charged with disorderly conduct if they are found in possession of alcohol and are underaged or are in possession of illegal marijuana. The penalties vary depending on your charges. However, it is possible to fight these charges with an experienced criminal lawyer.


Jail Time

If you’ve been charged with a disorderly persons offense but have no prior record, you probably won’t be required to serve time in jail. However, a disorderly persons offense does carry the penalty of up to six months in county jail. If you have a record, it is likely that you will have to do time in your county jail. However, you can try to fight these charges by hiring an experienced lawyer.



Anyone charged with a disorderly persons offense will be required to pay a fine, even if they don’t do time in jail. The maximum penalty for this offense if $1,000. However, if the court convicts you of a petty disorderly persons offense, you may only have to pay a fine of up to $500.


Permanent Record

Although the state of New Jersey does not classify a disorderly persons offense as a criminal offense, it will still show up on your permanent record. As a result, it may make it difficult for you to find housing or career opportunities in the future. However, after five years and in some cases even three years, you may be eligible to have your record expunged. Additionally, if you hire an experienced lawyer, you may be able to have the charges dismissed.

Crimes that New Jersey considers disorderly persons offenses:

  • Possession of marijuana
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Harassment
  • Simple assault
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Possession of a fake I.D.
  • Underaged possession of alcohol
  • Shoplifting


A disorderly persons conviction can change your life in several ways. Primarily, it complicates your search for a good job. Furthermore, it can increase the difficulty of finding a decent place to live. Most notable, though, the charges appear on your permanent record, which is available to the public. Anyone who runs a background check on you will be able to see your past conviction history.

Furthermore, the penalty may require some time in a county jail. Six months may not seem like a long time when compared to penalties for other crimes, but it is still a long time to be away from your home and family. However, you may be able to have your charges dismissed, or your sentence reduced when you hire an experienced criminal lawyer.


Get More Answers From an Attorney

It’s important to understand the penalties that accompany a disorderly persons charge. With the right answers, you can know what you are up against in the courtroom. You can find out more about how a lawyer can help you by contacting Leon Matchin by emailing him at [email protected]. He is available and prepared to answer any questions you may have about your disorderly persons offense. and will be there to help you throughout the legal process.