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What is the Difference Between a Disorderly Person’s Offense and an Indictable Offense?

If you've recently had an interaction with the law or been accused of a crime, your charge falls into one of two categories: a disorderly person’s offense or indictment. You've probably already heard these phrases before, but you may still be wondering, “What does my classification mean for me, and how should I proceed with my case?"

 At Simon Law Group, we want you to have all the facts going into your case. In addition to employing DUI lawyers in Bridgewater, our legal team can also help you navigate more serious charges like indictments. Here is a quick rundown of the differences between a disorderly person's offense and an indictment.

 Basically, a disorderly person's offense is a charge that is less serious than an indictment. They are similar in many ways to misdemeanor offenses. When you are charged with a disorderly person's offense, you will not present your case to a grand jury. Instead, the judge will act as both the judge and the jury when deciding your fate. Some common disorderly person’s offenses include shoplifting, simple assault and obstruction of justice.

 On the contrary, an indictment is a more serious charge. When you are indicted, it means that you have the right to a trial, but first, your case will be heard in front of a grand jury. The grand jury is not the same as the trial jury as a group will only be deciding if, according to the evidence, the case itself has merit. If they decide that it does not, the charge is listed as "no billed" and the charge will be dismissed or downgraded. If they decide that there is a case, the indictment will be handed down.

If you are in need of legal assistance and want help managing your charge, contact our legal team by calling 855-370-5359.