NJ Arrests on Cinco de Mayo

nightclubThroughout New Jersey, May 5th is Cinco de Mayo, a day America has adopted as a celebration for Mexican heritage and pride.  Cinco de Mayo is celebrated on or around the fifth of May, usually on the weekend closest to the holiday.

Any time a holiday or celebration is expected to bring people out to the bars, the police officers increase their presence in anticipation of drunk drivers and other criminal behavior.  While drunk driving is a common occurrence on a holiday weekend, police are also likely to issue citations for other related charges, such as resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and violations of open container laws.  These offenses will be explained below.

DWI Charges on Cinco de Mayo

If you have been pulled over and suspected of drunk driving, don’t allow yourself to become a victim.  Follow these tips and protect your rights when you are out celebrating this Cinco de Mayo in New Jersey.

Do Not Let the Police Search Your Car

Any evidence found in your car could be used to support a conviction for a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense and even a municipal court charge like a DWI.  Therefore, do not allow a police officer to perform a search of your vehicle without a warrant.  Another exception when a search is permitted is if you are placed under arrest based on probable cause that you have committed an offense.  Obviously, you must not physically resist in any way but simply voice your lack of consent to his search if one is attempted.

Do Not be Intimidated by the Police

If you are nervous, a police officer may think that you are hiding something from them.  Remaining calm and being polite are the best ways to deal with law enforcement in every encounter, no matter what the circumstances are.

Clean Out Your Glove Box

Most of us are guilty of using our glove box as a closet.  But, fumbling through these compartments to find your license, registration and insurance can be easily misinterpreted for something like intoxication.  Keeping your glove box or center console neat and clean allows you to swiftly grab your identification and present it to the police officer when requested to do so.

Other Common Holiday Weekend Charges in NJ

Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest is a charge often called eluding an officer in New Jersey.  Resisting arrest occurs when an individual flees or otherwise prevents a police officer from arresting them for illegal conduct.  This can happen both while driving in a car or in person outside of a vehicle.  One common example is when someone engages in a fight or other aggressive behavior and, while in the heat of the moment, they get physical with an officer and push them away when he or she tries to place them in police custody.

This charge may seem minor to the defendant at the time it occurs, especially if it’s not done on purpose.  But, it can come with harsh penalties.  Resisting arrest or eluding can range from a disorderly persons charge to as high as a third degree crime in New Jersey.  The level of the charge entered depends on the circumstances involved in the act, such as whether the defendant actually tried to flee the scene and whether he or she used physical violence against an officer.

Open Container Law Violations

In New Jersey, you are not allowed to have open containers of alcohol in any motor vehicle.  The charge of possession of an open container of alcohol in a passenger compartment, under law N.J.S.A. 39:4-51B, is a traffic violation that will result in a $200 fine for a first offense.

This law does not apply for passengers in a charter bus or limousine service.  If you are driving around New Jersey with open containers of alcohol in your possession, it is safest to put them in your car’s trunk, where it is legal to carry them until you reach your destination.

Disorderly Conduct

Another common category of criminal charges issued on nights when the population is out celebrating a holiday falls under disorderly conduct.  Disorderly conduct is a charge in which police arrest someone for disturbing public order.  In other states these offenses are often called “disturbing the peace.”  A charge of disorderly conduct will be issued for behavior that is violent or threatening, or which tends to cause public annoyance, alarm or inconvenience.  Examples of common reasons for a disorderly conduct charge in New Jersey include yelling obscenities, throwing objects and threatening violence in public.

Contact an Experienced NJ Criminal Law Attorney

If you have been charged with a DWI or other charge while out celebrating on Cinco de Mayo, you need to call an experienced New Jersey attorney to protect your rights.  Partner Carmine R. Villani, Esq. has a wealth of experience in New Jersey criminal and DWI defense having served as municipal prosecutor and municipal public defender in numerous municipalities in Ocean County and Monmouth County throughout his 20+ year legal career.  Contact the NJ drunk driving lawyers of Villani & DeLuca for a free, no obligation consultation about your charges.  Call 732-965-3350 today!