Municipal Ordinance Violations at the Jersey Shore

Water droplet on beer can

Municipal Court Defense Lawyers in Point Pleasant, NJ

People go to the Shore to have a good time, but cutting loose can have a downside. If you frequently visit Jersey Shore towns like Point Pleasant, Long Beach Township, Mantaloking, Seaside Heights, Lavallette, or other shore communities, you may have occasionally had a little too much to drink, gotten into a loud argument or fight with another person, or possibly tried to sneak alcohol onto a beach and gotten busted for an open container violation. Below explains some of the most common municipal ordinance violations at the Shore and what it means if you receive a ticket for an ordinance. To get help with a municipal court case in Ocean County, contact our local Point Pleasant office at (848) 238-2100 or reach out online today. We provide free consultations 24/7.

Local Ordinance Violations in NJ Beach Towns

The most common rules that you might run afoul of at the Shore are called “municipal ordinance violations.” New Jersey law technically categorizes these violations as separate and distinct from criminal offenses, but they can nonetheless be serious. Embarrassing municipal ordinance violations can appear on your permanent record and official criminal background checks. They can also carry hefty fines. Thankfully, unlike criminal offenses, which are subject to stricter expungement rules, a municipal ordinance violation can be expunged from your record within 2 years from the date that you sustained it. They also rarely give rise to arrests unless other criminal offenses are involved, so an arrest will not appear on your record. Lastly, since an ordinance violation is not technically a criminal conviction, you can say no to certain questions on applications for employment, colleges and universities.

Public Urination in LBI

According to reports from last year, public urination is one of the most common violations people commit at the Shore. One article points to excessive alcohol consumption as the main reason for these violations. Municipal ordinance offenses for urinating in public (which can potentially even be upgraded to or a disorderly persons offense for lewdness under N.J.R.S. 2C:14-3) can subject you to heavy fines. If you are facing a lewdness charge, this offense carries possible jail time and will show up on a background check.

Public Intoxication in Seaside Heights

Although New Jersey state law does not specifically criminalize public intoxication, a number of municipal ordinances do prohibit drunken and disorderly conduct that interferes with public safety, inconveniences the public, or otherwise causes a scene. The penalties for this type of disruptive behavior can be severe, including fines in the hundreds of dollars. Sometimes, disorderly drunk mistakes can lead to criminal charges as well, as is common in cases involving simple assault and resisting arrest.

Open Container Violations in Bay Head

You may also face steep fines for open container violations. Local municipalities may outlaw open containers of alcohol on beaches or in other public places. Spring Lake, Avon-by-the-Sea, Brick Township, Bay Head, Seaside Park, and Island Beach State Park are known to set up stations where beachgoers are checked for alcohol prior to entering the beach. If you bypass these checkpoints and are caught with an open container, the penalties can ruin your vacation and set you back in terms of finances and future plans. When open containers are found among minors, police can charge you with underage alcohol possession, which is even more serious.

Issued a Ticket for an Ordinance in Spring Lake

Aside from the common municipal ordinance violations discussed above, you may run into a number of less common ordinances if you cut loose a little too freely at the Shore. For example, if you forget to pay a taxi driver or get into an argument with a service provider and refuse to pay them for services rendered, you can suffer a municipal ordinance violation and fine. If you fall asleep on a public bench after having one too many, some municipalities classify that as a local ordinance violation and may fine you. Other townships and municipalities may have ordinances prohibiting you from making excessive noise, disturbing the peace, loitering, or littering.

Given the consequences of municipal ordinance violations and associated criminal charges, you should speak with a local criminal defense lawyer who frequently defends clients in Jersey Shore towns before heading to court on your own. Contact us now at (848) 238-2100 for a free consultation.

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.