What You Should Know
In New Jersey, we call the less serious criminal offenses “disorderly persons” and “petty disorderly persons” offenses (also known as DPs and PDPs). Some people refer to these in conversation as “misdemeanors”. Disorderly persons offenses can carry up to 6 months in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and other mandatory financial penalties, and possible probation and/or community service. A petty disorderly persons offense carries the possibility of up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $500 plus other mandatory financial penalties, and possible probation and/or community service.
Unlike indictable crimes, there is no right to an indictment and no right to a jury trial for disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses. Common types of disorderly persons offenses are possession of marijuana under 50 grams, shoplifting, criminal mischief, simple and simple assault. Common petty disorderly persons offenses include harassment and disorderly conduct. These types of cases are dealt with in the municipal court in the town or city where the alleged offense occurred.