Thanks to the many casinos and the many bars found along the world-famous Jersey Shore, there is never a dull moment on the weekends here in Atlantic City. This is especially true for this coming weekend, as young people will be out in droves -- and in costumes -- to celebrate Halloween at area hotspots.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with this, those young people planning to partake in this weekend's festivities -- and the alcohol that inevitably comes along with them -- will nevertheless want to exercise a degree of caution, as law enforcement will be out in full force.
While this means not consuming too much alcohol and, by extension, not getting behind the wheel after consuming too much alcohol, it also means watching general behavior, as New Jersey law forbids what is known as disorderly conduct.
Specifically, the law in question prohibits improper behavior, classifying it as a petty disorderly persons offense otherwise punishable by a fine of up to $500 and up to 30 days in jail.
As for what constitutes improper behavior, it is when a person, with the intention of causing "public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof" does any of the following:
- Fights, threatens, or otherwise engages in violent or tumultuous behavior
- Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition for no good reason
It must be noted that the Garden State's disorderly conduct law similarly prohibits -- and punishes -- the use of "unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language" uttered in a public place with the intention of offending the sensibilities of others or in "reckless disregard of the probability of so doing."
While it's true that petty disorderly persons offenses are not considered crimes under the state constitution, this doesn't mean that they won't go on a person's permanent criminal record, affecting employment, education and even housing opportunities.
As such, if you've been charged with disorderly conduct in a casino, bar, restaurant or other public place, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional who can protect your rights, your reputation and your future.