A misdemeanor/disorderly person charge is one that, in general, carries a maximum jail sentence of less than one year. A misdemeanor/disorderly conduct conviction may also result in fines and penalties, as well as the risk of losing professional license or difficultly obtaining employment in the future. As part of your misdemeanor/disorderly person defense, your criminal defense attorney may advocate for alternative sentencing measures, including probation, or community service. Your lawyer will also fight to keep the conviction off of your official criminal history; this is particularly important if you need a clean record to maintain or obtain employment in your particular field.
Misdemeanor/disorderly conduct crimes are less serious in nature than felonies (indictable charges) and generally do not involve extreme violence or extensive property damage. Simple assault, possession of narcotics, petty theft (e.g., shoplifting) or disorderly conduct are all examples of misdemeanor/disorderly person crimes. A theft crime may be classified as a felony if the value of the stolen item is in excess of a certain dollar amount.
Those charged with a misdemeanor/disorderly person offense are often tempted to try and defend the charges pro se. This is unwise for a number of reasons and could result in an unnecessary conviction when an ample defense may have been available. When you first meet with your attorney, you will discuss the facts surrounding your arrest and charge, including the events leading up to the incident and any mischaracterizations you believe were made by the arresting officers. Preparation for your misdemeanor/disorderly person trial may include any of the following:
- Interviewing witnesses and preparing witnesses to testify;
- Reviewing lab reports or the details of a search warrant;
- Speaking with arresting officers and examining the details contained in the arrest report;
- Negotiating with the prosecutor to obtain a dismissal or reduction in charges;
- Offering an alternative sentencing arrangement to include rehabilitative treatment, or;
- Arguing for the suppression of certain evidence obtained in violation of your constitutional rights.
A criminal defense attorney cannot guarantee any particular outcome for your misdemeanor/disorderly person case, but certain factors may make it more likely that you will obtain a favorable result. For instance, if this is your first brush with the law or it has been a number of years since your last conviction, this factor could gain you favor with the judge. Also, in cases involving drugs or alcohol, successful completion of an education course or treatment program could result in a dismissal of your arrest which can be immediately expunged off your criminal history.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, you are most likely scared, nervous or upset. You may wonder how a conviction will impact your job and your relationships. At Sitzler and Sitzler, we understand your feelings because we have helped countless people in similar situations who share in those feelings of uncertainty. Our knowledgeable attorneys use strategy, skill, and experience to resolve cases effectively on behalf of our clients. We will begin an immediate investigation to collect all necessary evidence for your case. Using research tools, technology and experts, we have the sophisticated resources to assert your rights in or out of court in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
Please contact the office today at (609) 267-1101 today to schedule a free consultation with a disorderly conduct attorney in New Jersey.