Disorderly Person Offenses and Summary Offenses

New Jersey and Pennsylvania classify low-level criminal offenses differently. In New Jersey, a low-level crime is considered a disorderly person offense; and in Pennsylvania, a low-level crime is considered a summary offense.

Disorderly Person Offenses in New Jersey

In New Jersey, there are two classifications of minor offenses: petty disorderly person offenses and disorderly person offenses. These cases are heard in municipal court.

An example of a petty disorderly person offense charge would be disorderly conduct or harassment and can lead to a maximum jail sentence of 30 days and up to $500 in fines.

An example of a disorderly person offense charge would be simple assault or shoplifting and can lead to up to 6 months in jail and a maximum fine of $1,000. Some disorderly person offenses also carry a mandatory jail sentence and driver's license suspensions.

Summary Offenses in Pennsylvania

A summary offense in Pennsylvania is a minor crime that is heard and decided by a magisterial district judge. It is considered a lesser crime than a felony or misdemeanor.

Common summary offenses include but are not limited to:

  • Retail theft
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Underage drinking
  • Loitering
  • Harassment

In Pennsylvania, a summary offense carries a maximum of 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $300. Certain offenses may carry additional penalties as well, including driver's license suspension.

Can I have my record expunged?

An expungement is the process by which a petition is filed with the Court requesting an Order erasing or removing offenses from a criminal record.

Expungements are important because criminal records can significantly impact an individual's ability to find work, pursue education, obtain a professional or occupational license, or apply for housing and benefits.

Eligibility for expungement depends on many factors including completion of your sentence, your prior criminal record, and the amount of time that has passed since the offense.

The criminal defense attorneys at Winegar, Wilhelm, Glynn and Roemersma can assist you in pursuing the expungement of your disorderly/petty disorderly person offenses and/or summary offenses. We will help you understand your options, the different strategies you can pursue, and the potential outcomes surrounding the specifics of your case.

We Will Defend You

Nothing is guaranteed, which is why you need an experienced attorney to defend your rights. Our attorneys will meet with you to discuss your situation, the best course of action, and what you can expect throughout the duration of your case.

Please call our main office at 908-454-3200 to schedule a consultation, or you can reach us online with any questions you may have.