I appeared today in Far Hills Municipal Court with a client charged with disorderly conduct in violation of N.J.S. 2C:33-2. The offense was committed during the Far Hills Race Day, often called “The Hunt”, which is held in Far Hills every year in late October. The steeple races are held and, depending on the weather, typically 30,000 to 50,000 people attend to enjoy the races and party.
The Far Hills Municipal Court is located at 6 Prospect Street, P.O. Box 249, Far Hills, New Jersey 07931. The main telephone number for the court is (908)781-1911. The fax number is (908)781-6048. Court is held the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 10:30 a.m. The court personnel are as follows:
- Judge: Robert K. Hornby, J.M.C.
- Prosecutors: Chris Bateman, esq., Richard Guss, esq.
- Court Administrator: Marjorie M. Freeman
- Far Hills Police Department: (908)234-1192
Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense in New Jersey which includes up to thirty (30) days in the county jail, a $500.00 fine, and a permanent criminal charge if convicted (subject to expungement after five (5) years in certain cases). N.J.S. 2C:33-2 provides in pertinent part:
a. Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
(2) Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.
b. Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.
In this case, I was able to negotiate a dismissal of the disorderly conduct criminal offense. This was very important for my client, a 23-year-old young man with no prior criminal record and a bright future ahead of him. My client plead guilty to a violation of a local municipal ordinance for urinating in public and paid a fine. This plea of guilty results in no criminal record and preserves my client’s future. The only record is of the original arrest for disorderly conduct which may be expunged from his record.