What is Hazing?
Hazing is nothing new. It’s been prominent throughout the years at colleges, universities, sports organizations, and even in high schools. Hazing is defined as any intentional action or situation created that involves harassment, embarrassment, or ridicule and also risks the emotional or physical well-being of a person or group of people. These people do not have to be new to a team, club, class, or organization to suffer hazing. They also do not have to be willing to partake in the activity.
Some common examples of hazing include the following:
- Forced to consume large amounts of alcohol
- Forced into activities to prove they belong to a new group or organization
- New members being isolated from existing members
- Paddling, beating, or other physical acts of harm
- Being required to stay awake for days at a time or sleep in unsavory conditions
- Being forced to steal items from other organizations or groups before being accepted
The people affected by hazing are not just the victims. Bystanders and those involved in hazing incidents, no matter how much they took part, can have their lives turned upside down. For example, people have been expelled from school (high school and college) for their involvement in hazing. Others have lost academic and athletic scholarships, spots on sports teams, and even housing.
A New Hazing Law
New Jersey passed S-3150 in early September and the legislation is now waiting on the vote from the Senate. If the Senate votes in favor of passing the bill, hazing will become a felony. Behaviors that are classified as hazing would be prohibited in different areas, including universities and other schools throughout the state, such as high schools and middle schools.
Committee members voted and it passed with all members agreeing on the bill.
A New Push for Prosecution
There will be a new push for prosecution with the passing of the hazing bill in New Jersey. More and more victims will likely come forward if involved in hazing incidents knowing that there is a law in place that prohibits these acts. This makes it more important than ever to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
What Should I Do if Accused of Hazing?
If you have been accused of hazing, no matter the circumstances, you should speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately. Never admit guilt or that you were involved in the incident. This will only lead to trouble with defending against the accusations or if charges are levied against you. A criminal defense attorney knows the changes in the law and will be able to build a strong defense to the charges against you using evidence, witnesses, and other information.
Contact an Experienced Newark Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Hazing Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with hazing in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Bramnick, Rodriguez, Grabas, Arnold & Mangan, LLC have successfully represented clients charged with hazing in Newark, Scotch Plains, Westfield, Clifton, and throughout New Jersey. Call 877-423-4878 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 45 Bleeker Street in Newark, NJ 07102 as well as offices located in Scotch Plains, Westfield, Clifton, Cherry Hill, Elizabeth, and East Brunswick.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.