New Jersey Juvenile Expungement Lawyer

When a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent he/she can seek an expungement if that juvenile act would have been a(n): crime, disorderly person’s offense, ordinance violation as if the acts had been committed by an adult. Generally, juveniles that were adjudicated delinquent may have their entire record of delinquency expunged if:

  • It has been five or more years since the petitioner’s final discharge from custody/supervision, or it has been at least five years after the entry of any other court order, not involving custody/supervision; and,
  • The petitioner has not been convicted of: (a) a crime, a disorderly persons offense, or (b) adjudicated delinquent, or (c) in need of supervision, during the previous 5 years, and no criminal proceeding or complaint is pending seeking a conviction or adjudication; and,
  • The petitioner has never been adjudicated a juvenile delinquent on the basis of an act which, if committed by an adult, would be ineligible for expungement (listed at N.J.S.A. 2C:52-2); and,
  • The petitioner has never had an adult conviction expunged; and,
  • The petitioner has never had adult criminal charges dismissed, following completion of a supervisory treatment or other diversionary program.

The Expungement Process can give the petitioner (delinquent) the clean slate that they need to move forward with life.

Drug Possession Defense

You may be thinking that “the drugs were in my pocket” so I have no defense. Wrong! Drug Possession defense lawyers know the legalities of the who, what, where and when’s of law enforcements ability to search and seize drugs. Just like the rest of society, the cops make mistakes.

If there was a mistake made by the police our attorneys are confident we will find those mistakes and use them to build you a solid criminal defense. As stated previously many times drug possession charges arise from a motor vehicle stop. Things our attorneys will review include did they police have probable cause to stop the vehicle, did they have consent, probable cause or a valid warrant to search the car? If they did something wrong in this process it can lead to the prosecution not being able to use the improperly seized drugs, as evidence, against you in your case.

Furthermore, many times when you are arrested you will be questioned by police while in custody. Before they can interrogate you they are required to read you your Miranda rights. This is another aspect of the case where the cops may have made mistakes and once it again it can lead to incriminating evidence, in the form of a statement(s), which may be thrown out (suppressed).

New Jersey has some of the toughest drug laws in the country but it does also have programs to give those who made a mistake a second chance or those who truly have a drug addiction, a chance at rehabilitation, rather than carrying a guilty conviction on their records or be sentenced to prison time. These programs are called PTI (Pretrial Intervention) and Drug Court.

Drug Court

Several counties in New Jersey have a Drug Court program. Drug Court is essentially a program where the State gives non-violent and addicted drug offenders a chance at recovery instead of the sending them to State prison. The Drug Court Manual specifies that a defendant may be eligible for drug court under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-14 (Special Probation for prison-bound offenders) or N.J.S.A. 2C:45-1 (Ordinary Probation).

Drug Court is not picnic and it requires the participants to be employed and at the same time under intense supervision. In order to monitor the participant’s adherence and success the participants will be subjected to random and frequent drug testing, as well as court appearances. Furthermore, the Court will require that participants receive counseling and drug treatment of the Court’s choice. In essence Drug Court is an intense probationary period which lasts for a certain amount of time which will also be set by the Court. The amount of time can vary from case-to-case.

Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI)

The Pretrial Intervention Program (PTI) provides those being prosecuted for a criminal charge, generally first-time offenders, with opportunities to avoid prosecution in its normal course. PTI is a program which recognizes that sometimes personal, social or other problems can lead one down the wrong path and result in criminal act. PTI gives the defendant an opportunity to change their lives and avoid future criminal or disorderly behavior. If PTI is successfully completed, the defendant will not have a record of a criminal conviction, as well as, it will save the defendant the costs and expenses that they would otherwise incur in the normal course of a prosecution.

Conditions of Pretrial Intervention:

Generally, supervision while in the PTI program averages from one to three years. Some standard conditions of PTI include: random urine monitoring, assessments for fees, and penalties and fines. Other conditions that may also apply include: community service, payment of restitution, and submission to psychological and/or drug and alcohol evaluations with compliance to recommended treatment programs.

As previously stated successful completion of all the conditions of PTI will result in the original charges being dismissed and there is no record of conviction. On the other hand where the defendant does not successfully complete the conditions of PTI, then the defendant is terminated from the PTI and the case is returned to be prosecuted in its normal course, which could result in a criminal conviction.

Am I Eligible for Pretrial Intervention (PTI)?

Listed below are some of the factors which will determine if you are likely to be accepted into PTI:

  • Age – PTI adult defendants.
  • Residence – PTI is for New Jersey residents, but others may apply.
  • Jurisdiction – Only defendants charged with criminal or penal offenses in New Jersey criminal or municipal courts.
  • Minor Violations – Not eligible if the likely result would be a suspended sentence without probation or a fine.
  • Prior Record of Convictions – PTI generally excludes defendants who have been previously convicted.
  • Parolees and Probationers – Generally excluded without prosecutor’s consent and considered only after consultation with parole and probation departments.
  • Defendants Previously Diverted – excludes defendants who have previously been granted a diversionary program or conditional discharge.

Acceptance or non-acceptance into PTI is an appealable decision and the applicant may appeal the decision to the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division.

Penalties for Disorderly Conduct

If you are convicted of Disorderly Conduct under N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2, it can result in criminal record and exposure to up to six (6) months in jail, probation, community service and fines . One of our experienced attorneys is a key player in providing you the best possible defense in order to effectively minimize your exposure to this, as well as other criminal charges.

Our NJ law office defends individuals charged with Disorderly Conduct statewide including Monmouth County, Union County, Middlesex County, Burlington County, Ocean County, Essex County, Hudson County, Atlantic County and Mercer County. Contact us today! Lawyer up and get the players you need on your criminal defense team to fight the charges that you face. Below you will find NJ’s Disorderly Conduct law outlined in further detail for your reference.

NJ Disorderly Conduct Law

NJ Disorderly Conduct Law

2C:33-2. Disorderly Conduct.

a. Improper Behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he/she

  • Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or
  • Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.

What the NJ Disorderly Conduct case law says: In order to successfully convict and accuse one of disorderly conduct the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused public inconvenience, public annoyance or public alarm, or a reckless risk thereof, by fighting, threatening, violent or tumultuous conduct, or by creating a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by an act serving no legitimate purpose of the actor. See State v. Stampone, 341 N.J. Super. 247, 255 (App. Div. 2001).

b. Offensive Language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with the purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he/she addresses unreasonably loud and offensively course or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present. “Public” means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood.

What the NJ Disorderly Conduct case law says: For speech to rise to the level of disorderly conduct and for the conviction to be constitutional, the language must have been spoken in a public place and probable to invite the listener to an immediate breach of the peace. When the language is directed specifically at another individual, and it is of such a nature and spoken under such circumstances as is likely to result in an immediate breach of the peace, it may be constitutionally outlawed. See State v. Brown , 62 N.J. 588, 591 (1973). The words must be spoken in “public” where a significant group can hear them. Many of times the police include charges for Disorderly Conduct against an individual for offensive language, stating in the complaint that the defendant was verbally abusive, however, this type of language does not rise to the level of Disorderly Conduct and our legal defense lawyers will be quick to pick up on this faulty type of police activity.

N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15,

Under N.J.S.A. 18A:37-15, each school district is granted local control over the contents of the policy and ancillary procedures, but, at a minimum, the ten components listed in the authorizing statute must be included in a school district’s policy prohibiting harassment, intimidation and bullying.

Some of the provisions of the authorizing statute call for the school district to stipulate the consequences and appropriate remedial actions for the following instances:

1) persons violating the policy;

2) persons who engage in reprisal or retaliation against someone who reports a violation of the policy; and

3) persons who falsely report allegations of harassment, intimidation or bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of harassment, intimidation or bullying.

Another provision of the statute requires the school district’s policy to articulate the range of different measures a school will take to respond to violations of the policy. This is according to New Jersey’s “Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act.”

When the School fails at its mandated task, parents and guardians may want to find an alternative to a bullying problem that the school district can’t seem to handle. New Jersey’s stalking law (N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10) is a law that can be used to deter bullying in severe cases.

N.J.S. 2C:12-10

N.J.S. 2C:12-10, specifies that a person is guilty of stalking if they intentionally engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable individual to fear for their safety or suffer other emotional distress. This is deemed to be a crime in the fourth degree. It is upgraded to a third degree offense for subsequent convictions, if the offender is in breach of an order prohibiting such behavior or is on parole for any offense. (Upon a conviction, such conviction is considered grounds for a permanent restraining order and is applied automatically upon a guilty plea or sentencing, unless the victim requests otherwise.)

Example: The Dreaded walk home or bus ride home from school -Your son or daughter is being followed home by a particular bully and is fearful for their safe passage home or is being subjected to sever emotional distress. N.J.S.A.2C:12-10.2, possibly could be used to obtain a protective order from the Court to stop such behavior. Once the protective Order is in place a violation of such an order would subject the violator to the criminal or juvenile justice system.

In any case involving an allegation of stalking in which the victim is a child under the age of 18 or is developmentally disabled as defined N.J.S.A. 5:5-44.4, or where the victim is 18 years of age or older and is mentally defective as defined in N.J.S.A. 2C:14-1h, the court may issue a temporary restraining order against the defendant prohibiting contact between the defendant and the victim. This directive sets out the procedures to be followed in such situations.

N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10.2

N.J.S.A. 2C:12-10.2, specifies that its provisions are in addition to, not in lieu of, the pre-existing law that provides that a judgment of conviction for stalking automatically operates as an application for a permanent restraining order (N.J.S.A.2C:12- 10.1).

A parent or guardian may seek relief on an emergent ex parte basis, with the judge to make the decision regarding the emergent relief “forthwith.” If the judge determines that the child or mentally defective adult is in danger of being stalked by the defendant, the judge is to issue a temporary restraining order limiting defendant’s contact with the person being stalked. The court also may grant any other relief specified in the stalking law.

N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1

When your child is being bullied via the internet there is also law in New Jersey which affords your child protection via New Jersey’s Cyber harassment laws. A person commits cyber-harassment much the same as in the “the dreaded walk/bus ride home” scenario. Except now the “cyber-bully” can continue their abhorrent behavior, virtually, through the internet and cyber space with the same purpose to emotionally harm your child.

N.J.S.A. 2C:33-4.1, specifies that a person commits the crime of cyber-harassment if, while making a communication in an online capacity via any electronic device or through a social networking site and with the purpose to harass another, the person:

(1) threatens to inflict injury or physical harm to any person or the property of any person;

(2) knowingly sends, posts, comments, requests, suggests, or proposes any lewd, indecent, or obscene material to or about a person with the intent to emotionally harm a reasonable person or place a reasonable person in fear of physical or emotional harm to his person; or

(3) threatens to commit any crime against the person or the person’s property.