Four Common Crimes That Occur Over Spring Break
Spring break offers a chance for college students to take their focus off classes, homework, and studying in order to have some fun. For adults, spring break offers the opportunity to enjoy themselves, as well, whether it involves a weekend trip to the beach or just spending a little extra time hanging out with friends. Unfortunately, the idea of letting your hair down after a long winter and enjoying warmer temperatures can lead people to make errors in judgement that put them at odds with the law. Cutting loose or overindulging over spring break can easily lead to criminal charges that involve potentially serious penalties. The following are four types of crimes that are particularly common over spring break.
Alcohol Related Charges
Overconsumption of alcohol and spring break seem to go hand and hand, which can lead to all different types of legal issues. Charges related to driving under the influence (DUI) are the most obvious concern and can have far reaching ramifications on every aspect of your life. The state of New Jersey takes a tough stance against drunk drivers and in addition to the loss of your driving privileges, even a first offense can carry heavy fines and a potential jail sentence. Even if you do not get behind the wheel, buying alcohol when you are under 21 or supplying it to a minor can result in a fine and the loss of your license.
While many places have legalized recreational marijuana use, it is important to remember that it is still illegal in New Jersey. The state does have a medical marijuana program in place, but without a prescription from your doctor, possession of the substance carries serious penalties. Being ‘high’ or in possession of less than 1.76 ounces is a municipal offense punishable by fines up to $1,000 and up to a six-month jail sentence. Larger amounts can be charged as a fourth degree crime, with a conviction resulting in fines of up to $25,000 and up to 18 months in jail.
Spring fever can have the effect of lowering your inhibitions, causing you to take actions you would not otherwise take. Unfortunately, some of these actions could result in criminal charges. Under Section 2C:33-2 of the New Jersey Statutes, you can be arrested and charged with a disorderly persons offense for using profanity in public places, causing any type of scene or spectacle, or engaging in any type of aggressive or tumultuous behavior. You can also be cited under this statute for being drunk in public or for loitering in public places. Depending on the type of activity you are engaged in, you could face fines and possible time in jail.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:17-3, criminal mischief involves relatively minor crimes, such as vandalism and petty theft. However, depending on the value of the property defaced or taken, it can still involve heavy penalties. When damages total between $500 and $2,000, disorderly conduct is considered a fourth degree crime, meaning fines of up to $10,000 and up to an 18 month jail sentence. For property valued at over $2,000, you face third degree criminal charges and penalties that include fines of up to $15,000 and up to five years imprisonment.
Our Milltown Criminal Defense Attorney is Here to Help
If you get arrested or charged with a crime over spring break, the Law Office of Jordan B. Rickards, Esq. can provide the strong legal representation you need to avoid potentially harsh penalties. Call or contact our Milltown criminal defense attorney online to request a consultation today.