Wear Green, not Cuffs: Crime and St. Patrick’s Day

New Jersey has the most parades (26) dedicated to the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day than any other state in the country.  (http://www.saintpatricksdayparade.com)

This coming weekend, various municipalities throughout New Jersey will host their parades.  In part because of the excellent weather forecast, large crowds are expected. 

Ocean County (Seaside Heights) – Saturday, March 10, 2012

The theme of this year’s parade is “Honor and Remember” – a tribute to local families who have lost loved ones who served in the armed forces.  The parade is expected to draw more than 75,000 attendees.  (http://www.oceancountysaintpatricksdayparade.com) 

Morris County (Morristown) – Saturday, March 10, 2012

The municipality highlights the “family-oriented” nature of its parade, which is expected to draw approximately 70,000 attendees.  (http://paradeday.com)

Union County (Union) – Saturday, March 10, 2012

Organizers boast that this is one of the fastest growing parades.  This year’s event is dedicated to those whose have been touched by cancer.  (http://unioncountystpatricksdayparade.com

South Amboy – Saturday, March 10, 2012


Somerville – Sunday, March 11, 2012


Woodbridge – Sunday, March 11, 2012


Hackettstown – Sunday, March 11, 2012


One municipality that did not have a parade this year was Hoboken, citing its “inability to protect our spectators, bands and participants” as the reason.  (http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2012/01/hoboken_st_patricks_day_parade_1.html)

Despite the cancellation, the celebration went on.  And while crime rates dropped significantly from 2011, the Hoboken Police still issued 92 summonses (as opposed to last year’s 296) this year.  Most of the summonses were written for disorderly house parties and open containers, and eight were for urinating in public.  A total of 68 tickets were also issued for motor vehicle violations, including driving while intoxicated (“DWI”). (http://hoboken.patch.com/articles/less-crime-hoboken-st-patricks-day)

One thing is for certain – parade or not – with excessive celebration, comes police involvement.  If you find yourself in a situation where you are charged with a crime, a disorderly persons (“DP”) offense, a municipal ordinance violation, or a motor vehicle violation, do not under-estimate the potential consequences.  The most common charges seen around this time of year are: 

  • Assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1b
  • Simple Assault, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:12-1a
  • Resisting Arrest, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2
  • Disorderly Conduct, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2
  • Possession/Consumption of Alcoholic Beverage by a Minor, in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:33-13
  • Driving While Intoxicated (“DWI”), in violation of N.J.S.A. 39:4-50
  • Open Container (municipal ordinance – varies by municipality)
  • Public Intoxication (municipal ordinance – varies by municipality)
  • Urinating in Public (municipal ordinance – varies by municipality)

Note that, even with a simple municipal ordinance violation, a fine of up to $2,000 can still be imposed.  So, it is always in your best interest to consult with an attorney before entering a plea of “guilty” to any crime, offense, or violation.

Have fun, but be smart.

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