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10 Laws You Should Know If You're in New Jersey

By Daniel Taylor, Esq. | Last updated on

Though the fourth smallest state by size, New Jersey is the most densely populated state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This is due in no small part to the state's proximity to New York City, Philadelphia, and several other major U.S. metropolitan areas.

But whether you count yourself as a lifelong New Jerseyan, are just visiting, or are passing through from one of New Jersey's neighboring states, you should familiarize yourself with the nuances of New Jersey state law.

Here are 10 laws that you should know if you're in New Jersey:

  1. Driving while intoxicated. What may be called DUI in other states is called DWI in New Jersey. There are two ways to be arrested for DWI: Have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher, or have an officer make a determination that you are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  2. Cigarette tax. New Jersey has one of the highest cigarette tax rates in the nation, at $2.70 per pack of 20.
  3. Death by auto. In New Jersey, causing a person's death by the reckless operation of an automobile is a crime known death by auto. Death by auto -- which may include deaths caused by DWI accidents -- is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
  4. Minimum wage. New Jersey's minimum wage is currently $8.25 an hour. Because of an inflation provision in the minimum wage law, the minimum wage will rise to $8.38 an hour in January, reports The Star-Ledger.
  5. Gun control laws. Weapons and firearm accessories that are illegal in New Jersey include: sawed-off shotguns, stun guns, armor piercing bullets, and silencers. New Jersey also has a waiting period for the purchase of handguns: 30 days for residents, and 45 days for nonresidents.
  6. Gambling laws. New Jersey permits licensed casinos (such as those in Atlantic City) and horse-racing facilities to operate in the state. But the state does not permit dog racing, bookmaking, or the "unlicensed conduct of games of chance on Sundays."
  7. Credit card fraud. In New Jersey, using false statements to get a credit card is considered a crime of the fourth degree. A conviction can result in up to 18 months in jail, a $10,000 fine, and the payment of restitution.
  8. Marijuana. New Jersey is among the states that permit the use and possession of medical marijuana for those with a doctor's recommendation. However, possession of marijuana for those without a doctor's recommendation can be a felony for those possessing over 50 grams, or a misdemeanor for possession of less than 50 grams.
  9. Wills. New Jersey does not recognize oral wills. However, the state does recognize handwritten wills, as long as the material provisions of the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the person whose will is being written.
  10. Corporal punishment. Though corporal punishment is banned in New Jersey schools, New Jersey law does permit parents to use force on a child for the purpose of "care, supervision, discipline, or safety" of that child.

Learn more about New Jersey by visiting FindLaw's State Law section on New Jersey Law.

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