If you’re like most people, at some point or another you’ve caught yourself wondering, “Could I get arrested for this?” Maybe now is one of those times! To ease your troubled mind, here are the facts on some of the most common, “Is this illegal?” questions out there.
Can you get arrested for carrying a knife in New Jersey?
Under New Jersey law, it’s illegal to carry gravity knives, switchblades, daggers, dirks, and stiletto knives “without any explainable lawful purpose.” That means if you’re carrying a box cutter on the way to your warehouse job, you’d probably be in the clear. A hunting knife in the middle of Trenton? Maybe not so much. However, is unlawfully carrying a knife an arrestable offense? No, if a police officer saw a knife on your person and decided it was in violation of the law, you’d just be given a ticket and a court summons.
Can I get arrested for being high in New Jersey?
Yes. It’s considered a disorderly persons offense to be under the influence of drugs in the state of New Jersey. It’s not enforced all that often, but it is technically the law. Some other marijuana laws in the Garden State:
- Maximum penalty for possession of less than 50 grams: 6 months in jail and $1,000 fine.
- Maximum penalty for possession over 50 grams: 1.5 years and $25,000 fine.
- Maximum penalty for distribution of less than 1 ounce: 1.5 years and $25,000 fine.
- Maximum penalty for distribution of less than 5 pounds: 5 years in jail and $25,000 fine.
- Maximum penalty for distribution of more than 25 pounds: 20 years in jail and $300,000 fine.
- If within 1,000 feet of a school, 100 hours of community services is added to any punishment. Sales to minors or pregnant women doubles fines and sentence lengths.
Can I get arrested if my roommate sells drugs out of our home?
It’s not against the law to live with a dealer, but that doesn’t mean you definitely won’t get arrested. If the police get a warrant for the arrest of your roommate, you might be caught up in a raid, and that might mean ending up in cuffs. From there it’ll be up to the judge to decide you’re innocent.
Can you get arrested for panhandling in New Jersey?
It depends on the town. Many cities and towns in New Jersey have ordinances that outlaw aggressive panhandling. However, the ACLU has been involved in challenges to those laws, arguing that it violates people’s Constitutional right to free speech and peaceable assembly. Can you get arrested? Maybe, but unless you’re making an unusual amount of fuss, you probably won’t be.
Can you be arrested for flipping off a cop?
Nope! Well, it’s not illegal anyway. In 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled: “ancient gesture of insult is not the basis for a reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation or impending criminal activity.” The ruling was based on an appeal from a New York man who was arrested after giving the bird to an officer with a radar gun.
That said, it’s probably wisest not to provoke the police.
Can I get arrested for speeding in New Jersey?
Not for speeding alone. If you’re pulled over for speeding, and in the course of your interaction with the police officer an arrestable offense occurs, you could be spending the night in jail.
RELATED POST: Know Your Rights if Stopped by Police
Of course, there’s a difference between what’s legal, what’s normal, and what can actually happen. Police can arrest you for quite a lot – but some of it will be thrown out in court.
If you do end up behind bars in the state of New Jersey, get out fast by calling Chance BailBonds in Freehold at (732) 984-4101.