Does a Disorderly Conduct Conviction Appear on a Criminal Record

Yes. In New Jersey, disorderly conduct is a disorderly persons or misdemeanor offense. Technically, the offense of disorderly conduct is not a criminal offense within the definition of the NJ Constitution. It is defined as a violation. Yet, for practical purposes, it has the same effect as a criminal conviction because it appears on your criminal record and will remain there for 5 years (at least) or until you have it expunged.

A future employer will not know the difference. All the inquirer will know is that you have a conviction which appears on your rap sheet. Trying to explain to them that it is not actually a crime as defined in our State constitution……priceless.

The pity of the situation is that these charges are usually for something very minor, possibly alcohol related, and could have been resolved by some other means, at least initially, by something other than the involvement of the criminal justice system.

Nonetheless, once charged, it would be WISE to take every step to 1) avoid a conviction and 2) make sure the case is handled properly. These charges a tough to prove. Additionally, the seasoned municipal court lawyer will be able to negotiate ( in most instances) with the prosecutor and come to a resolution that does not involve a conviction for disorderly conduct. Alternatively, if your case must go to trial, then you will want the assistance of experienced legal counsel who has gone to trial on disorderly conduct charges and won.

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