We've all found ourselves in a situation where we've said unpleasant things in the heat of the moment, only to regret it later. It could be harsh words during an argument with a family member, a friend, or a coworker. Regardless, once we realize what we have said, we usually apologize and ask for forgiveness. But sometimes, emotions get the better of people, and things take a darker turn, leading them to lash out in a threatening manner. This type of behavior can lead to criminal charges that may or may not be appropriate. If you or a family member find yourself facing accusations or charges after any type of heated exchange, the Lento Law Firm can help. Reach out to our office at 888-535-3686 or use this online form.
Arguments can escalate and involve behavior that may be viewed as aggressive or threatening by a participant, a bystander, or the police. As an example, a Sparta, New Jersey, man found himself facing jail time and fines after an alleged public outburst directed at a stranger.
A Coffee Shop Confrontation Leads to Criminal Charges
According to a news report, while outside of a coffee shop, Joseph Dumanov accosted an individual whom he knew to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community. Dumanov allegedly made disparaging hand gestures and derogatory statements to this individual. Witnesses claimed Dumanov acted in a threatening manner and became more disruptive as bystanders tried to intercede. Dumanov eventually left the shop after a crowd gathered, the report said.
Later, Dumanov allegedly told police that he does not like the LGBTQ+ community and made more disparaging statements about the group. Prosecutors in Sussex County initially charged Dumanov with harassment and disorderly conduct but amended the charges to add bias intimidation, according to the news article.
What Constitutes Harassment, Disorderly Conduct, and Bias Intimidation in New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the offense of harassment involves making communications that are likely to cause annoyance or alarm. Such communications may be made anonymously, at inconvenient hours, or in coarse language. Harassment also involves striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching or threats of these actions. In addition, the offense covers any other course of alarming actions intended to annoy someone.
The charge of disorderly conduct in New Jersey involves acting with the intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. Disorderly conduct can involve fighting, making threats, or any actions that can be considered violent or tumultuous. The offense can also involve using unreasonably loud, offensive, or abusive language in public.
In New Jersey, bias intimidation involves the commission of an offense with the purpose of intimidating an individual because of that person's race, color, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, or ethnicity.
You Need a Strong Advocate in Your Corner
There are many defenses to charges of harassment, disorderly conduct, and bias intimidation. A charge does not mean someone is guilty. If you or a loved one are facing any of these charges or another criminal charge, the Lento Law Firm's Criminal Defense Team is ready to advocate on your behalf. Tell us about your case by calling 888-535-3686 or completing this online form.