Disorderly conduct is a criminal charge often connected to public fights, riots, or anything that causes a public disturbance. The penalties for disorderly conduct are relatively low, but a conviction remains on your criminal record forever.
Disorderly conduct is charged as a petty disorderly persons offense, the lowest charge possible. Even so, a conviction for disorderly conduct may show up in a criminal background check and cause problems. If someone runs a background check and finds this conviction, it might cost you jobs or other unique opportunities. However, not all employers are always looking for these kinds of charges. An expungement would effectively eliminate any record of a disorderly conduct charge and prevent it from appearing in a background check.
If you were convicted of disorderly conduct at some point in the past, your conviction might come back to haunt you in a background check. Our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys can help you expunge the conviction from your record. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free case review.
What Is Disorderly Conduct in New Jersey?
Disorderly conduct is a petty disorderly persons offense, the lowest offense possible. Petty disorderly persons offenses rank below disorderly persons offenses and indictable crimes. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:33-2, disorderly conduct includes improper behavior with the purpose to cause public inconvenience., annoyance, or alarm. Often, the charges include fighting or creating otherwise dangerous situations that pose a public risk.
Under N.J.S.A. § 2C:43-8, disorderly conduct convictions may be punished by no more than 30 days in jail. A convicted defendant may also be fined no more than $500. Although the punishments for this offense seem somewhat minor, it is still a criminal conviction on your record for life.
Criminal records have a nasty habit of coming back to haunt you. Even people who have had no criminal convictions for years are hindered and held back by their record. Our New Jersey criminal defense attorneys can help you overcome your record and hopefully get your convictions expunged.
Disorderly Conduct Charges in New Jersey Background Checks
Most people with criminal records are concerned about background checks. In today’s increasingly digital world, background checks are more common and far easier to perform than in years past. One of the most common reasons for a background check is a new job. Potential employers like to screen job candidates, and if a background check yields a conviction, you might be turned down for the job.
A conviction for disorderly conduct might show up in criminal background checks. A more precise answer to this question depends on who runs the background check and what they are looking for. Sometimes, potential employers are only really looking for serious felonies. Other times, they are looking for any conviction.
The situation also depends on what kind of background check is being run. Certain background checks only go back a certain number of years. For example, if a background check only goes back 10 years, and your disorderly conduct charges are from 12 years ago, they will not show up.
Additionally, a disorderly conduct charge will not appear in a background check if the conviction was expunged. An expungement effectively wipes the charge from your record, and it is treated as if it did not happen. Our Atlantic City criminal defense attorneys help you figure out if you are eligible for expungement and help you begin the process.
What Happens If a Disorderly Conduct Charge Appears in a New Jersey Background Check?
If your past conviction for disorderly conduct appears in a background check, what happens next may depend on who is running the background check and what they are looking for. Some employers are unbothered by such convictions, especially if the conviction was from a long time ago or has nothing to do with your ability to do the job. Other employers might turn you away if the job requires a person with a clean criminal record.
If you are concerned about a past conviction for disorderly conduct showing up on an upcoming or pending background check, speak to our Cape May criminal defense attorneys for guidance. You may be eligible for an expungement, which would wipe the conviction from your record. If you are not eligible for an expungement, we can help you look into other possible legal options.
Can I Prevent a Disorderly Conduct Charge from Appearing in a New Jersey Background Check?
One of the most effective ways to prevent a disorderly conduct charge from appearing in a background check is to expunge the conviction. As discussed earlier, an expungement wipes the conviction from your record, and it is treated as if it never occurred. This means that when a potential employer runs a background check, the expunged conviction does not show up.
To have your record expunged, you must be eligible. According to N.J.S.A. § 2C:52-3, you may have no more than 5 disorderly persons offenses or 5 petty disorderly persons offenses on your record to be eligible. You must also not be convicted of an indictable crime that would be ineligible for expungement. Additionally, at least 5 years must have passed from the most recent conviction, and all sentence requirements must be fulfilled.
Our Egg Harbor criminal defense lawyers can help you explore the “clean slate” expungement if you have several convictions. This kind of expungement is useful for someone with multiple conviction as they may expunge their entire record after 10 years has passed since the end of their last sentence.
Most importantly, you should get an attorney to help. Defendants are legally permitted to handle their expungement cases on their own if they wish, but the process may be long and arduous. A skilled lawyer can help you get your record expunged as soon as possible.
Call Our New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorneys for Help
Call our Margate criminal defense lawyers for advice if you or someone you know has an old conviction for disorderly conduct, and you are worried about background checks for a job. Call the Law Offices of John J. Zarych at (609) 616-4956 for a free case review.