Common Fourth of July Crimes
Posted By Brickfield & Donahue
What Are Some Common Crimes Committed on July 4th?
While the holiday weekend is a cause for celebration and many people will be gathering at barbecues and parties, the Fourth of July weekend can be dangerous. Certain crimes are more likely to be committed over this weekend, including but not limited to:
- Underage drinking. Under New Jersey law, a person under the age of 21 is not legally permitted to purchase, drink, or possess alcoholic beverages in a public place, motor vehicle, or school (N.J.S.A § 2C:33-15). While underage drinking is illegal, on Independence Day weekend, many minors and people between the age of 18 and 21 are arrested for the offense.
- Theft. Many people travel for the holiday weekend or at least spend Independence Day at someone else’s house, which leaves their home open to being burgled. People also often steal from parked cars and people over the holiday weekend.
- Lewdness. The 4th of July weekend is one of the United State’s top drinking holidays, and because of alcohol consumption, some people may face indecent exposure or lewdness charges. New Jersey law defines lewdness as exposing one’s genitals for the purpose of arousing or satisfying the sexual desire of the perpetrator or another person. It is also illegal for a person to commit any lewd or offensive act when they know or suspect that another person may observe such behavior (i.e. indecent exposure). Lewdness is considered a disorderly persons offense.
- Driving while under the influence. MoneyGeek research predicts that the Fourth of July weekend will be the deadliest weekend in 2022 with 233 fatalities, and the 4th is known as one of the deadliest holiday weekends annually. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 38% of motor vehicle fatalities were alcohol-related. While at barbecues or other social events, people may indulge and drink alcoholic beverages, but unfortunately, many people also drive while under the influence. A DWI/DUI offense is penalized based on whether it is a first-time or subsequent offense.
- Disorderly conduct. In New Jersey, disorderly conduct occurs when a person engages in a fight or threatens another person, engages in violent or tumultuous behavior, creates a physically dangerous situation, or uses offensive language, which causes a pubic inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. Again, alcohol consumption can play a large part in whether someone commits this offense.
- Assault. While the temperatures in New Jersey typically are in the high 80’s over the 4th weekend, research suggests that violent crimes increase by 5.7% once the temperature reaches 85 degrees. Because of the heat and increase in alcohol consumption, a person may become easily agitated and may commit a violent crime, such as an assault. In New Jersey, simple assault carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Under N.J.S.A. § 2c:12-1, simple assault occurs when a person causes or threatens to cause bodily injury to another person.
Arrested for a Crime Over the Holiday Weekend? Contact Our Firm.
At Brickfield & Donahue, our attorneys have over 55 years of collective experience and are equipped to help you protect your rights and freedoms. If you or a loved one have been arrested for a crime, we handle a wide variety of cases, including:
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