arrested for a disorderly persons offense Morristown lawyer near meEvery crime in New Jersey is grouped into a classification based on the seriousness of the charge. As the crimes get more serious or violent, the penalties and consequences change. Essentially, the punishments get worse as the charges get more serious.

“Disorderly persons offenses” are one category of criminal charges under NJ law. They are actually one of the most common charges that lead to arrests for New Jersey citizens and people visiting from other states.

Arrested for a Disorderly Persons Offense in NJ

In other states, disorderly persons offenses are referred to as “misdemeanors.” They are simply less serious criminal offenses. In New Jersey, disorderly persons charges will be addressed in municipal court. Although these charges are less serious, you can still end up with a criminal conviction on your record because of this type of charge. They will stay on your criminal record for life, which means that they will show up on background checks run by potential employers, colleges and universities, and police department if you apply for a gun permit.

There are also two classifications of disorderly persons offenses: petty or regular disorderly persons charges. Petty disorderly offenses are less severe compared to a standard disorderly persons offense.

Common Disorderly Persons Offenses in New Jersey

Interestingly, disorderly conduct is actually a petty disorderly persons offense. The other very common petty disorderly persons offense is harassment.

Most other charges that fall under the disorderly persons “umbrella” of crimes will be disorderly persons offenses.  These types of offenses include things like shoplifting or criminal mischief that results in less than $200 in damages or loss. Simple assault, which may occur when there is a fight between two parties or an attempt to harm another person, is also a disorderly persons offense. Possession of less than 50 grams of marijuana is a disorderly persons offense, too.

Consequences of NJ Disorderly Persons Charges

Petty disorderly persons offenses have a fine of $500, and you can end up with jail time of up to 90 days. Disorderly persons offenses have maximum penalties of up $1,000, and the maximum time in jail is 6 months. You can also be sentenced to do community service, pay additional fines, and court costs if convicted of a DP offense. Of course, having this type of offense on your record can also affect you for years to come. It could hinder your employment situation, including your ability to get a job in the future. It may also affect professional licenses and create immigration issues. If you are convicted of another crime in the future, your first offense could have an effect on the sentence you receive in the second case too.

Need a Lawyer to Defend Me for Disorderly Persons Case near Morristown

Due to the wide-ranging consequences that a disorderly persons offense conviction could have, it is vital that you put up a vigorous defense in these cases. One of your potential options is to have the charge “downgraded” to a Municipal Ordinance infraction, which has less severe consequences, or have it dismissed altogether.

A talented Morristown, New Jersey criminal defense attorney at our firm can help you explore your options if you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense. We are here to help you determine what the best course of action is to minimize the impact that this charge has on the rest of your life. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.

Former NJ Deputy Attorney General Joins the Tormey Law Firm LLC

Morris County Criminal Defense LawyersThe Tormey Law Firm LLC is pleased to announce that Thomas Ercolano has joined the law firm as an associate attorney beginning September 1, 2016. Tom is a former judicial law clerk in Middlesex County. Tom also served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey for four years, prosecuting child abuse and child neglect cases for the State.

During his years as a Deputy Attorney General, Tom tried countless cases for the NJ Division of Child Protection and Permanency (formerly DYFS) and conducted Order to Show Cause custody hearings, case management conferences, pre-trial conferences, child abuse and neglect fact-findings, and termination of parental rights trials. During his tenure with the DCP&P, Tom learned what it takes to manage an extensive caseload and develop effective case strategy. He also worked with expert witnesses, including pediatricians, psychologists, and psychiatrists. In addition to developing his trial advocacy skills, Tom wrote numerous appellate briefs for DCP&P and presented oral arguments before the Appellate Division.

Practice Areas: DCP&P (DYFS) Defense, Criminal Defense, and Municipal Defense


  • Undergraduate: Lafayette College, 2007, Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
  • Law School: Seton Hall University School of Law, 2010, Juris Doctor

Bar Admissions:

  • New Jersey, 2010
  • New York, 2011

Career Experience:

  • Judicial Clerk to the Honorable Roger W. Daley (Ret.), New Jersey Superior Court, Middlesex County
  • Deputy Attorney General, New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, Department of Children and Families Practice Group

Tom Ercolano is available immediately to assist you at 201-556-1570.

The Randolph Municipal Court is located in the Municipal Building, 502 Millbrook Avenue, Randolph, New Jersey 07869. The main telephone number for the court is (973)989-7054. The fax number is (973)989-1496. The main court personnel are as follows:

  • Judge: Ira A. Cohen, J.M.C.
  • Prosecutor: Michael Cresitello, esq.
  • Court Administrator: Christine Hopler
  • Randolph Police Department: (973)989-7000

Court is held on Wednesdays at 5 p.m. Guilty pleas are also taken on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month at 5 p.m.

Randolph Township Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. This court hears certain criminal offenses (disorderly persons and petty disorderly persons offenses) and traffic matters (including driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges). Disorderly persons offenses have a maximum sentence of six (6) months in the county jail. Petty disorderly persons offenses have a maximum penalty of thirty (30) days in the county jail. Any indictable criminal offenses (more serious criminal cases) are handled at the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown, New Jersey.

Florham Park Municipal Court is located at Boro Hall, 111 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park, New Jersey 07932. The main telephone number for the court is (973)410-5324. The fax number for the court is (973)410-5329. The court personnel are as follows:

  • Judge: Gary F. Troxell, J.M.C.
  • Prosecutor: Gary J. Grabas, esq.
  • Court Administrator: Carmelo Bassolino
  • Florham Park Police Department: (973)377-2200

Court is held every Wednesday morning at 9:30 a.m.

Florham Park Municipal Court handles traffic charges such as:

  • Speeding
  • Driving without Insurance
  • Driving with a Suspended License
  • Reckless Driving
  • Leaving the Scene of an Accident
  • Driving while Intoxicated (DWI)

Florham Park Municipal Court also handles disorderly persons criminal offenses such as:

  • Marijuana Possession (under 50 grams)
  • Simple Assault
  • Harassment
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

I frequently represent clients charged with criminal and traffic offenses in Dover Township Municipal Court in Morris County, New Jersey. This court has jurisdiction over certain criminal charges (known as disorderly persons offenses and petty disorderly persons offenses), traffic matters, and driving while intoxicated (DWI) charges.

Here is some important information with regard to the Municipal Court in Dover, New Jersey. The Dover Municipal Court is located at Town Hall, 37 N. Sussex Street, Dover, New Jersey 07801. The main telephone number for the court is (973)366-2200, Ext. 136. The fax number is (973)989-1526. The court personnel are as follows:

  • Chief Judge: Arnold Miniman, J.M.C.
  • Prosecutors: Manuel P. Fanarjian, esq.; Douglas R. Cabana, esq.
  • Court Administrator: Sonia Barria
  • Dover Police Department: (973)366-0302

Court is held every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m. and every Wednesday at 9 a.m. For additional information on Dover Township Municipal Court, see their official website. If you or a loved one has been charged with drunk driving, simple assault, marijuana possession, or any other criminal or traffic offense in Dover, New Jersey, my criminal defense trial team can help. Contact our Morristown or Parsippany office locations anytime for immediate assistance at (973)971-0030. The initial consultation is always provided free of charge.