In New Jersey, unlike other states, the terms misdemeanor and felony are no longer used to describe different types of crimes. Instead, those crimes customarily referred to as felonies in other jurisdictions are known as “indictable offenses,” and those violations called misdemeanors in other states are referred to as “disorderly persons” offenses. All disorderly persons offenses are heard in the municipal courts, as are a number of other infractions, including traffic violations, violation of municipal ordinances, and violations of fish and game, parks and forests, and other regulations.
Disorderly Persons Offenses
Disorderly persons offenses are further broken down to include petty disorderly persons offenses. All disorderly persons offenses result in sentences of no more than one year in jail. Petty disorderly persons offenses involve the least amount of time, and include disorderly conduct and harassment. Other disorderly persons offenses are:
- Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Simple assault
- Resisting arrest or obstructing justice
- Writing or issuing bad checks
- Public lewdness
If you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense, you may either be arrested and detained, or you may be issued a summons to appear. If you fail to appear and the court has evidence that you were properly served, a warrant may issued for your arrest.
Bail must be established within 12 hours of the issuance of a complaint against you. You have a right in New Jersey to post bail, though the court can determine the amount. Once you’ve posted bail, you will be released until the trial is over or the charges have been resolved. The court can require that you put up money or property as collateral until your appearance in court, or you may simply be release on your own recognizance.
Contact The Cintron Firm
At the Cintron Firm, LLC, we offer more than 14 years of experience to people in New Jersey facing a broad array of legal challenges. Contact our office online or call us at 201-791-1333 or 917-494-5695 to set up an appointment.