We have gathered the following New Jersey disorderly conduct laws and statutes for you. The disorderly conduct statutes provide for the control of behavior that causes disturbance to other members of the public. While disorderly conduct is a very commonly written offense in this category, there is a wide variety of conduct that falls under this category, such as harassment, underage drinking or smoking, nuisance and loitering. The statutes provided below are meant only to serve as general information. If you have been charged under one of the following statutes, please contact Villani & DeLuca, P.C. at (732) 965-3350 for a free consultation.
Disorderly Conduct Laws in NJ:
- 2C:33-1. Rioting. – Rioting is a form of disorderly conduct committed by a group of five or more people. Rioting is a fourth degree crime unless it is committed with a firearm or deadly weapon, in which case it is a third degree crime. Participants or witnesses may be charged with failure to disperse if they refuse to immediately leave the scene of a riot when ordered to do so by law enforcement officials.
- 2C:33-2. Disorderly conduct. – Disorderly conduct is the act of causing public inconvenience, danger or annoyance through the improper use of words and/ or actions. Such actions include public fights, threats and creating dangerous or inconvenient conditions which have no constructive purpose.
- 2C:33-2.1. Loitering. – Loitering to obtain or distribute CDS in a public place refers to the act of buying or selling a controlled dangerous substance in a public area. This includes repeatedly stopping pedestrians and motorists, repeatedly passing and receiving objects from pedestrians or motorists, and passing and receiving objects from motorists while circling a public area in a motor vehicle.
- 2C:33-3. False public alarms. – Although most false public alarm charges are tried as third degree crimes, faking a bomb threat or creating a false public alarm that results in serious injury are considered second degree crimes. An individual may even be guilty of a first degree crime if the false public alarm results in someone’s death.
- 2C:33-3.2. Fines for causing a false public alarm. – An individual must pay a fine of no less than $2,000 for creating a false public alarm, which is a violation of New Jersey Statute 2C:33-3. The fine will be made payable to the municipality in which the false alarm occurred.
- 2C:33-4. Harassment. – Harassment is a disorderly persons offense in which one party subjects another party to repeated, unwanted contact through verbal and/or physical means. Harassment can be elevated to a criminal charge if the perpetrator was serving a prison sentence, or was under parole or probation at the time of the offense.
- 2C:33-12. Nuisance. – A disorderly persons offense is classified as maintaining a nuisance when an individual intentionally creates or maintains conditions that place large groups of people in danger. This charge encompasses a wide variety of acts, ranging from urinating in public to maintaining a premise for the purpose of prostitution.
- 2C:33-12.1. Abating nuisance. – The abating nuisance statute gives municipalities the right to step in and take charge of situations that are deemed dangerous or unsafe to the public. For instance, if the owner of a dilapidated building fails to make necessary repairs, the municipal court can order the seizure and forfeiture of the building, and any property in the building associated with creating or maintaining a nuisance.
- 2C:33-13. Smoking in public. – Most municipalities in New Jersey have laws that ban smoking in public areas, workplaces and government facilities. Smoking in public is a minor disorderly persons offense and is punishable by a fine of no more than $200. As of January 11, 2010, the use of electronic smoking devices has also been banned from public areas and workplaces.
- 2C:33-13.1. Underage smoking. – New Jersey prohibits the sale of cigarettes or any other tobacco products to individuals under the age of 19. Tobacco control laws are enforced by the New Jersey Department of Health’s Tobacco Age of Sale Enforcement (TASE) program. The sale of electronic smoking devices to anyone under the age of 19 is also prohibited.
- 2C:33-14. Interference with transportation. – Interference with transportation is the act of intentionally endangering or obstructing the safe operation of motor vehicles. This includes throwing objects at a moving vehicle, purposely obstructing a vehicle’s path and obstructing a vehicle operator’s vision with a laser lighting device.
- 2C:33-15. Underage drinking. – Individuals under the age of 21 who are found guilty of purchasing, possessing or consuming alcoholic beverages in a public place will be fined no less than $500 for a disorderly person offense. Driving privileges will also be suspended for six months if the offense was committed in a motor vehicle.
- 2C:33-16. Alcohol on school property. – Those who are of legal drinking age are prohibited from bringing or possessing alcoholic beverages on any property used for school purposes. This offense is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and possibly a prison sentence of up to 6 months.
- 2C:33-17. Providing alcohol to minors. – It is illegal for anyone other than a parent or guardian to make alcoholic beverages available to a minor. However, offering a minor alcoholic beverages as part of a religious rite, or offering alcohol to minors at home in the presence of their parents are not violations under this offense.
- 2C:33-27. Consumption of alcohol in restaurants. – New Jersey restaurants without a liquor license can allow its patrons to bring and consume wine or beer only, unless there is a municipal ordinance prohibiting such consumption. The municipality can also dictate the hours during which these beverages may be brought and consumed. Restaurants are prohibited from charging customers any fees or service charges for bringing their own wine and beer.