Petty Crime Defense Lawyer in Westmont
Adeptly Handling All Types of Petty Crime Cases
People who think about the term “petty crimes” often take the name at face value. These are petty, insignificant actions that don’t really hurt anyone, right? Wrong! The harassing behaviors categorized as disorderly persons offenses (misdemeanors) in New Jersey are more than just inconvenient for victims. They can, indeed, be harmful physically or financially. As a result, prosecutors often come down hard on offenders charged with disorderly persons offenses.
If you are facing criminal charges for a petty crime in Camden County, you need the assistance of an aggressive lawyer who will defend you against your charges in municipal court. Attorney Jill R. Cohen is a former prosecutor who knows how New Jersey prosecutors build their cases. She can put that knowledge to work for you when defending you against your charges.
Call our Westmont petty crime defense lawyer at (856) 351-5115 today.
Misdemeanors in New Jersey
In New Jersey, crimes are not categorized as misdemeanors and felonies.
Instead they are classified as:
- Indictable crimes
- Disorderly persons offenses
- Petty disorderly persons offenses
Disorderly persons offenses and petty crimes are essentially the equivalent of other states’ misdemeanor crimes – they are punishable by no more than one year in jail and are generally less serious in nature than indictable crimes.
Understanding Petty Crimes & Disorderly Persons Offenses
New Jersey disorderly persons offenses are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:1-4. One common charge is disorderly conduct. The New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice defines disorderly conduct as engaging in improper behavior with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or harm. It’s not unusual for juveniles to engage in this type of behavior. Disorderly persons offenses are handled in the municipal court of the township in which the act took place.
At The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen, we have had significant success in getting disorderly persons charges downgraded or dismissed entirely. To achieve a conviction, the prosecutor must prove that the defendant committed a petty crime “beyond a reasonable doubt.” As a Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer by the New Jersey Supreme Court, Ms. Cohen can put her experience to work for you to prevent the state from proving your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Ms. Cohen also works tirelessly to get criminal cases in Superior Court moved to Municipal Court, where they are more easily fought.
Some of the most common disorderly persons offenses include:
- Simple assault
- Resisting arrest
- Creating a hazardous or physically dangerous condition
- Using offensive language in a public place with the intention of offending others
- Writing bad checks
- Noise disturbances
- Public urination
- Public intoxication
- Criminal mischief
- Property damage totaling less than $500
- Possession of fewer than 50 grams of marijuana
- Possession of drug paraphernalia
- Obstruction of justice
Potential Penalties for a Petty Crime Conviction
While disorderly persons offenses are non-indictable charges, the consequences associated with a conviction can be harsh.
Disorderly persons offenses are punishable by:
- A maximum prison sentence of six months (petty disorderly offenses carry a potential jail sentence of up to 30 days)
- Fines up to $1,000 ($500 for a petty disorderly persons offense)
- Court costs and penalties
- Community service
If you are convicted of a petty crime, your driving privileges, immigration status, job, professional licenses, and reputation may be at risk. You will also have a criminal record that can’t be expunged for at least three years. Having a criminal record can affect your ability to obtain a loan, get a job, get into school, rent or buy a home, and achieve other life goals.
Choose The Law Office of Jill R. Cohen in Your Time of Need
Hiring an experienced Westmont petty crime attorney is the first step in preparing an effective defense for your case. For more than 30 years, Attorney Jill Cohen has aggressively defended the criminally accused in New Jersey. She is eager to put her experience to work for you.
Aggravated Assault Not Guilty
Aggravated Manslaughter Appeal Granted
Aggravated Sexual Assault Dismissed
First Degree Aggravated Sexual Not Guilty
Restraining Orders Dismissed
Sexual Assault Dismissed