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New Jersey Riot and Disorderly Conduct Statutes

§ 2C:33-1. Riot; failure to disperse

a. Riot. A person is guilty of riot if he participates with four or more others in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in section 2C:33-2a:

(1) With purpose to commit or facilitate the commission of a crime;

(2) With purpose to prevent or coerce official action; or

(3) When he or any other participant, known to him, uses or plans to use a firearm or other deadly weapon.

Riot if committed under circumstances set forth in paragraph (3) is a crime of the third degree. Otherwise riot is a crime of the fourth degree.

b. Failure of disorderly persons to disperse upon official order. Where five or more persons are participating in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in section 2C:33-2 a. likely to cause substantial harm, a peace officer or other public servant engaged in executing or enforcing the law may order the participants and others in the immediate vicinity to disperse. A person who refuses or knowingly fails to obey such an order commits a disorderly persons offense.

§ 2C:33-2. Disorderly conduct

a. Improper behavior. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense, if with purpose to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof he

(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior; or

(2) Creates a hazardous or physically dangerous condition by any act which serves no legitimate purpose of the actor.

b. Offensive language. A person is guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense if, in a public place, and with purpose to offend the sensibilities of a hearer or in reckless disregard of the probability of so doing, he addresses unreasonably loud and offensively coarse or abusive language, given the circumstances of the person present and the setting of the utterance, to any person present.

“Public” means affecting or likely to affect persons in a place to which the public or a substantial group has access; among the places included are highways, transport facilities, schools, prisons, apartment houses, places of business or amusement, or any neighborhood.

§ 2C:33-2.1. Public place defined; loitering to obtain or distribute CDS is a disorderly persons offense

a. As used in this section:

“Public place” means any place to which the public has access, including but not limited to a public street, road, thoroughfare, sidewalk, bridge, alley, plaza, park, recreation or shopping area, public transportation facility, vehicle used for public transportation, parking lot, public library or any other public building, structure or area.

b. A person, whether on foot or in a motor vehicle, commits a disorderly persons offense if (1) he wanders, remains or prowls in a public place with the purpose of unlawfully obtaining or distributing a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog; and (2) engages in conduct that, under the circumstances, manifests a purpose to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog.

c. Conduct that may, where warranted under the circumstances, be deemed adequate to manifest a purpose to obtain or distribute a controlled dangerous substance or controlled substance analog includes, but is not limited to, conduct such as the following:

(1) Repeatedly beckoning to or stopping pedestrians or motorists in a public place;

(2) Repeatedly passing objects to or receiving objects from pedestrians or motorists in a public place;

(3) Repeatedly circling in a public place in a motor vehicle and on one or more occasions passing any object to or receiving any object from a person in a public place.

d. The element of the offense described in paragraph (1) of subsection b. of this section may not be established solely by proof that the actor engaged in the conduct that is used to satisfy the element described in paragraph (2) of subsection b. of this section.

§ 2C:33-3. False public alarms

a. Except as provided in subsection b. or c. of this section, a person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he initiates or circulates a report or warning of an impending fire, explosion, bombing, crime, catastrophe or emergency knowing that the report or warning is false or baseless and that it is likely to cause evacuation of a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transport, or to cause public inconvenience or alarm. A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he knowingly causes such false alarm to be transmitted to or within any organization, official or volunteer, for dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property.

b. A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if in addition to the report or warning initiated, circulated or transmitted under subsection a. of this section, he places or causes to be placed any false or facsimile bomb in a building, place of assembly, or facility of public transport or in a place likely to cause public inconvenience or alarm. A violation of this subsection is a crime of the first degree if it occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency.

c. A person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if a violation of subsection a. of this section in fact results in serious bodily injury to another person or occurs during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. A person is guilty of a crime of the first degree if a violation of subsection a. of this section in fact results in death.

d. For the purposes of this section, “in fact” means that strict liability is imposed. It shall not be a defense that the death or serious bodily injury was not a foreseeable consequence of the person’s acts or that the death or serious bodily injury was caused by the actions of another person or by circumstances beyond the control of the actor. The actor shall be strictly liable upon proof that the crime occurred during a declared period of national, State or county emergency. It shall not be a defense that the actor did not know that there was a declared period of emergency at the time the crime occurred.

e. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person knowingly places a call to a 9-1-1 emergency telephone system without purpose of reporting the need for 9-1-1 service.

§ 2C:33-4. Harassment

Except as provided in subsection e., a person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, with purpose to harass another, he:

a. Makes, or causes to be made, a communication or communications anonymously or at extremely inconvenient hours, or in offensively coarse language, or any other manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm;

b. Subjects another to striking, kicking, shoving, or other offensive touching, or threatens to do so; or

c. Engages in any other course of alarming conduct or of repeatedly committed acts with purpose to alarm or seriously annoy such other person.

A communication under subsection a. may be deemed to have been made either at the place where it originated or at the place where it was received.

d. (Deleted by amendment, P.L. 2001, c. 443).

e. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, in committing an offense under this section, he was serving a term of imprisonment or was on parole or probation as the result of a conviction of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United States.

§ 2C:33-10. Causing fear of unlawful bodily violence, crime of third degree; act of graffiti, additional penalty

A person is guilty of a crime of the third degree if he purposely, knowingly or recklessly puts or attempts to put another in fear of bodily violence by placing on private property of another a symbol, an object, a characterization, an appellation or graffiti that exposes another to threats of violence. A person shall not be guilty of an attempt unless his actions cause a serious and imminent likelihood of causing fear of unlawful bodily violence.

A person convicted of an offense under this section that involves an act of graffiti may, in addition to any other penalty imposed by the court, be required either to pay to the owner of the damaged property monetary restitution in the amount of the pecuniary damage caused by the act of graffiti or to perform community service, which shall include removing the graffiti from the property, if appropriate. If community service is ordered, it shall be for either not less than 20 days nor less than the number of days necessary to remove the graffiti from the property.

§ 2C:33-12. Maintaining a nuisance

A person is guilty of maintaining a nuisance when:

a. By conduct either unlawful in itself or unreasonable under all the circumstances, he knowingly or recklessly creates or maintains a condition which endangers the safety or health of a considerable number of persons;

b. He knowingly conducts or maintains any premises, place or resort where persons gather for purposes of engaging in unlawful conduct; or

c. He knowingly conducts or maintains any premises, place or resort as a house of prostitution or as a place where obscene material, as defined in N.J.S. 2C:34-2 and N.J.S. 2C:34-3, is sold, photographed, manufactured, exhibited or otherwise prepared or shown, in violation of N.J.S. 2C:34-2, N.J.S. 2C:34-3, and N.J.S. 2C:34-4.

A person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if the person is convicted under subsection a. or b. of this section. A person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person is convicted under subsection c. of this section.

Upon conviction under this section, in addition to the sentence authorized by this code, the court may proceed as set forth in section 2C:33-12.1.

§ 2C:33-12.1. Abating nuisance

a. In addition to the penalty imposed in case of conviction under N.J.S. 2C:33-12 or under section 2 of P.L.1995, c.167 (C.2C:33-12.2), the court may order the immediate abatement of the nuisance, and for that purpose may order the seizure and forfeiture or destruction of any chattels, liquors, obscene material or other personal property which may be found in such building or place, and which the court is satisfied from the evidence were possessed or used with a purpose of maintaining the nuisance. Any such forfeiture shall be in the name and to the use of the State of New Jersey, and the court shall direct the forfeited property to be sold at public sale, the proceeds to be paid to the treasurer of the county wherein conviction was had.

b. If the owner of any building or place is found guilty of maintaining a nuisance, the court may order that the building or place where the nuisance was maintained be closed and not used for a period not exceeding one year from the date of the conviction.

§ 2C:33-12.2. Sexually oriented business, nuisance; crime

a. As used in this act:

(1) “Sexually oriented business” means:

(a) A commercial establishment which as one of its principal business purposes offers for sale, rental, or display any of the following:

Books, magazines, periodicals or other printed material, or photographs, films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or other visual representations which depict or describe a “specified sexual activity” or “specified anatomical area”; or still or motion picture machines, projectors or other image-producing devices which show images to one person per machine at any one time, and where the images so displayed are characterized by the depiction of a “specified sexual activity” or “specified anatomical area”; or instruments, devices, or paraphernalia which are designed for use in connection with a “specified sexual activity”; or

(b) A commercial establishment which regularly features live performances characterized by the exposure of a “specified anatomical area” or by a “specified sexual activity,” or which regularly shows films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides, or other photographic representations which depict or describe a “specified sexual activity” or “specified anatomical area”;

(2) “Person” means an individual, proprietorship, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity.

(3) “Specified anatomical area” means:

(a) Less than completely and opaquely covered human genitals, pubic region, buttock or female breasts below a point immediately above the top of the areola; or

(b) Human male genitals in a discernibly turgid state, even if covered.

(4) “Specified sexual activity” means:

(a) The fondling or other erotic touching of covered or uncovered human genitals, pubic region, buttock or female breast; or

(b) Any actual or simulated act of human masturbation, sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse.

b. In addition to any activities proscribed by the provisions of N.J.S. 2C:33-12, a person is guilty of maintaining a nuisance when the person owns or operates a sexually oriented business which offers for public use booths, screens, enclosures or other devices which facilitate sexual activity by patrons.

c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a municipality shall have the power to determine restrictions, if any, on the hours of operation of sexually oriented businesses.

d. A person who violates this act is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree.

§ 2C:33-15. Possession, consumption of alcoholic beverages by persons under legal age; penalty

a. Any person under the legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages who knowingly possesses without legal authority or who knowingly consumes any alcoholic beverage in any school, public conveyance, public place, or place of public assembly, or motor vehicle, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense, and shall be fined not less than $ 500.00.

b. Whenever this offense is committed in a motor vehicle, the court shall, in addition to the sentence authorized for the offense, suspend or postpone for six months the driving privilege of the defendant. Upon the conviction of any person under this section, the court shall forward a report to the Division of Motor Vehicles stating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If a person at the time of the imposition of a sentence is less than 17 years of age, the period of license postponement, including a suspension or postponement of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period of six months after the person reaches the age of 17 years.

If a person at the time of the imposition of a sentence has a valid driver’s license issued by this State, the court shall immediately collect the license and forward it to the division along with the report. If for any reason the license cannot be collected, the court shall include in the report the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person as well as the first and last date of the license suspension period imposed by the court.

The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of operating a motor vehicle during the period of license suspension or postponement, the person shall be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S.39:3-40. A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of a violation of R.S.39:3-40.

If the person convicted under this section is not a New Jersey resident, the court shall suspend or postpone, as appropriate, the non-resident driving privilege of the person based on the age of the person and submit to the division the required report. The court shall not collect the license of a non-resident convicted under this section. Upon receipt of a report by the court, the division shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction of the suspension or postponement.

c. In addition to the general penalty prescribed for a disorderly persons offense, the court may require any person who violates this act to participate in an alcohol education or treatment program, authorized by the Department of Health and Senior Services, for a period not to exceed the maximum period of confinement prescribed by law for the offense for which the individual has been convicted.

d. Nothing in this act shall apply to possession of alcoholic beverages by any such person while actually engaged in the performance of employment pursuant to an employment permit issued by the Director of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or for a bona fide hotel or restaurant, in accordance with the provisions of R.S.33:1-26, or while actively engaged in the preparation of food while enrolled in a culinary arts or hotel management program at a county vocational school or post secondary educational institution.

e. The provisions of section 3 of P.L.1991, c.169 (C.33:1-81.1a) shall apply to a parent, guardian or other person with legal custody of a person under 18 years of age who is found to be in violation of this section.

§ 2C:33-16. Alcoholic beverages; bringing or possession on school property by person of legal age; penalty

Any person of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages, who knowingly and without the express written permission of the school board, its delegated authority, or any school principal, brings or possesses any alcoholic beverages on any property used for school purposes which is owned by any school or school board, is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

§ 2C:33-17. Availability of alcoholic beverages to underaged, offenses

a. Anyone who purposely or knowingly offers or serves or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or entices or encourages that person to drink an alcoholic beverage is a disorderly person.

This subsection shall not apply to a parent or guardian of the person under legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages or to a religious observance, ceremony or rite. This subsection shall also not apply to any person in his home who is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages who offers or serves or makes available an alcoholic beverage to a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages or entices that person to drink an alcoholic beverage in the presence of and with the permission of the parent or guardian of the person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages if the parent or guardian is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages.

b. A person who makes real property owned, leased or managed by him available to, or leaves that property in the care of, another person with the purpose that alcoholic beverages will be made available for consumption by, or will be consumed by, persons who are under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages is guilty of a disorderly persons offense.

This subsection shall not apply if:

(1) the real property is licensed or required to be licensed by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control in accordance with the provisions of R.S. 33:1-1 et seq.;

(2) the person making the property available, or leaving it in the care of another person, is of the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages and is the parent or guardian of the person who consumes alcoholic beverages while under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages; or

(3) the alcoholic beverages are consumed by a person under the legal age for consuming alcoholic beverages during a religious observance, ceremony or rite.

§ 2C:33-28. Solicitation, recruitment to join criminal street gang; crime, degrees, sentencing

a. An actor who solicits or recruits another to join or actively participate in a criminal street gang with the knowledge or purpose that the person who is solicited or recruited will promote, further, assist, plan, aid, agree, or attempt to aid in the commission of criminal conduct by a member of a criminal street gang commits a crime of the fourth degree. For purposes of this section, the actor shall have the requisite knowledge or purpose if he knows that the person who is solicited or recruited will engage in some form, though not necessarily which form, of criminal activity. “Criminal street gang” shall have the meaning set forth in subsection h. of N.J.S.2C:44-3.

b. An actor who, in the course of violating subsection a. of this section, threatens another with bodily injury on two or more separate occasions within a 30-day period commits a crime of the third degree.

c. An actor who, in the course of violating subsection a. of this section, inflicts significant bodily injury upon another commits a crime of the second degree.

d. Any defendant convicted of soliciting, recruiting, coercing or threatening a person under 18 years of age in violation of subsection a. or b. of this section shall be guilty of a crime of the second degree.

e. An actor who violates subsection a. of this section while under official detention commits a crime of the second degree. As used in this subsection, “official detention” means detention in any facility for custody of persons under charge or conviction of a crime or offense, or committed pursuant to chapter 4 of this Title, or alleged or found to be delinquent; detention for extradition or deportation; mandatory commitment to a residential treatment facility imposed as a condition of special probation pursuant to subsection d. of N.J.S.2C:35-14; or any other detention for law enforcement purposes. “Official detention” also includes supervision of probation or parole, or constraint incidental to release on bail. Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:44-5 or any other provision of law, the court shall order that the sentence imposed upon a violation of this section be served consecutively to the period or periods of detention the actor was serving at the time of the violation.

f. Any defendant convicted of soliciting, recruiting, coercing or threatening a person under 18 years of age in violation of subsection c. or e. of this section shall be sentenced by the court to an extended term of imprisonment as set forth in subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-7.

Notwithstanding the provisions of N.J.S.2C:1-8, N.J.S.2C:44-5 or any other provision of law, a conviction arising under this section shall not merge with a conviction for any criminal onense that the actor committed while involved in criminal street gang related activity, as defined in subsection h. of N.J.S.2C:44-3, nor shall the conviction for any such offense merge with a conviction pursuant to this section and the sentence imposed upon a violation of this section shall be ordered to be served consecutively to that imposed upon any other such conviction.

§ 2C:33-29. Crime of gang criminality; “criminal street gang” defined; grading of offense

a. A person is guilty of the crime of gang criminality if, while knowingly involved in criminal street gang activity, he commits, attempts to commit, or conspires to commit, whether as a principal or an accomplice, any crime specified in chapters 11 through 18, 20, 33, 35 or 37 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; N.J.S.2C:34-1; N.J.S.2C:39-3; N.J.S.2C:39-4; section 1 of P.L.1998, c.26 (C.2C:39-4.1); N.J.S.2C:39-5; or N.J.S.2C:39-9. A crime is committed while involved in a criminal street gang related activity if the crime was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in association with a criminal street gang.

“Criminal street gang” means three or more persons associated in fact. Individuals are associated in fact if: (1) two of the following seven criteria that indicate criminal street gang membership apply: (a) self-proclamation; (b) witness testimony or official statement; (c) written or electronic correspondence; (d) paraphernalia or photographs; (e) tattoos; (f) clothing or colors; (g) any other indication of street gang activity; and (2) individually or in combination with other members of a criminal street gang, while engaging in gang related activity, have committed or conspired or attempted to commit, within the preceding five years from the date of the present offense, excluding any period of imprisonment, one or more offenses on separate occasions of robbery, carjacking, aggravated assault, assault, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, arson, burglary, kidnapping, extortion, tampering with witnesses and informants or a violation of chapter 11, section 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7 of chapter 35 or chapter 39 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes.

b. Grading. Gang criminality is a crime of one degree higher than the most serious underlying crime referred to in subsection a. of this section, except that where the underlying crime is a crime of the first degree, gang criminality is a first degree crime and the defendant, upon conviction, and notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection a. of N.J.S.2C:43-6, shall be sentenced to an ordinary term of imprisonment between 15 and 30 years. A sentence imposed upon conviction of the crime of gang criminality shall be ordered to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed upon conviction of any underlying offense referred to in subsection a. of this section.

§ 2C:33-30. Crime of promotion of organized street crime; grading of offense

a. A person promotes organized street crime if he conspires with others as an organizer, supervisor, financier or manager to commit any crime specified in chapters 11 through 18, 20, 33, 35, or 37 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes; N.J.S.2C:34-1; N.J.S.2C:39-3; N.J.S.2C:39-4; section 1 of P.L.1998, c.26 (C.2C:39-4.1); N.J.S.2C:39-5; or N.J.S.2C:39-9.

b. Grading. Promotion of organized street crime is a crime of one degree higher than the most serious underlying crime referred to in subsection a. of this section, except that where the underlying offense is a crime of the first degree, promotion of organized street crime is a first degree crime and the defendant, upon conviction, and notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (1) of subsection a of N.J.S.2C:43-6, shall be sentenced to an ordinary term of imprisonment between 15 and 30 years. A sentence imposed upon conviction of the crime of promotion of organized street crime shall be ordered to be served consecutively to the sentence imposed upon conviction of any underlying offense referred to in subsection a. of this section.

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