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Snooki Arrested for Being Snooki: What Defines Disorderly Conduct?

Jul 30, 2010 – 6:12 PM
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David Knowles

David Knowles Writer

(July 30) -- New Jersey, we've got a situation. A legal one, that is.

On Friday, reports emerged that Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, the star of the MTV reality show "Jersey Shore" (which just enjoyed its second season premiere the night before) had been arrested in Seaside Heights, N.J., for disorderly conduct.

That got Surge Desk wondering just how police distinguished the alleged crime from Snooki's commonplace antics on the program, which can often be charitably described as "disorderly."

"Jersey Shore," after all, is itself a drunken celebration of the loud lives of Italian-Americans as they partake in the carnal pleasures of beach life in the Garden State (or South Beach, as the second season finds them).

Ms. Polizzi, wearing a pink and black T-shirt printed with the word "Slut," was said to be intoxicated after doing body shots at a bar before the police cuffed her and put her in a squad car.

Checking in with the New Jersey Criminal Defense Journal's Travis Tormey, one finds the following information on disorderly conduct as defined by Jersey law:
A wide range of circumstances can lead to a disorderly conduct charge: a fight, an argument, or some other improper behavior or offensive language.
In other words, your average episode of "Jersey Shore." Mr. Tormey goes on to write:
Most defendants do not realize the seriousness of these charges. This is a "2C" criminal offense which leads to a permanent record if you are found guilty or plead guilty. The statute governing disorderly conduct in New Jersey is N.J.S.A. 2C:33-2. The defendant also faces up to six (6) months in prison as a result of this petty disorderly persons offense.
Tormey, who is an associate at the Alexander M. Iler law firm in Red Bank, N.J., advises that defendants like Snooki who are charged with disorderly conduct should avoid pleading guilty until they have spoken to a lawyer, as charges are often reduced in court proceedings.

No word yet on how Snooki plans to plead.

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Filed under: Nation, Entertainment, Crime, Surge Desk