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Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found "not guilty" of all charges.

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Surprising Ways You Could Get Charged with Disorderly Conduct


One of the most common criminal offenses in New Jersey is disorderly conduct. The idea behind disorderly conduct laws is that public places should be free from disruption, which typically means public fighting and other types of violent altercations. However, the truth is that NJ law enforcement often brings disorderly conduct charges against a person when no other criminal charges are appropriate. The great degree of latitude that police officers have when arresting a person for disorderly conduct also means that these charges can be filed in just about any situation that involves aggressive or loud behavior.

Disorderly Conduct Charges in New Jersey

As set forth by N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2, disorderly conduct charges are only supposed to be filed against a person who engages in improper behavior with the purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. The easiest way to get charged with disorderly conduct in NJ is to get into a fight. Since alcohol can lead to aggressive behavior, disorderly conduct charges are common in college towns where students may be more likely to go to bars and clubs on the weekend and get drunk.

Even a minor disagreement can potentially lead to disorderly conduct charges, especially when alcohol is involved. If you get into a shouting match with another person and police officers are called to the scene, it is very possible that you will be charged with disorderly conduct – even if no punches were thrown.

You can also be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for confronting law enforcement. Merely being loud in public is not supposed to warrant a charge for disorderly conduct. Yet police officers throughout New Jersey are notorious for using disorderly conduct as a default charge, especially when a person loudly argues with police.

Disorderly conduct charges may also be filed against you if you use offensive language in public. That’s because the law prohibits you from verbally abusing another person in public, whether it’s a police officer or anyone else.


If you were arrested for fighting and charged with disorderly conduct in Atlantic County, NJ, it is imperative that you have a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side. The experienced, aggressive criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John W. Tumelty can help you fight your disorderly conduct charges and stay out of jail. Contact us immediately to schedule a free initial consultation.

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