Hey NJ, These Halloween Decorations Can Get You in Trouble With the Law
BOO! Break out the jack-o-lanterns, cobwebs, tombstones and skeletons! It's Halloween decorating time!!
While Halloween is one of our favorite holidays when we get decked out in spooky costumes and give the trick-or-treaters a scary thrill with decorations, there are some instances where people can take things a little too far.
Every Halloween season, there's somebody, somewhere that has a complaint about someone's Halloween decorations being too gory or too disturbing, oftentimes causing neighborly strife. But do they have any legal ground to stand on?
As it turns out, some Halloween decorations can be illegal, depending on the situation. So before you , here's where your Halloween decorations can get tangled up with the law:
FindLaw.com illustrated a perfect example of this: If you have some sort of beef with anyone, don't put their name on a fake tombstone. This can be perceived as a threat. Any decoration where somebody can interpret it as a threat can be held against you in court.
Are you going all out by decking your home up as a haunted house, complete with creepy music, a 12 foot skeleton, and jump-scare zombies? Dramatic lighting can be such a cool element to add to your haunted house extravaganza, but be careful. If you have distracting lights, like bright, flashing strobe lights that can momentarily blindness or distract drivers, you can be on the hook for any accidents they may cause.
Best to keep it to witches, goblins, vampires and zombies. When it comes to decorations, don't bring culture into it, especially if it isn't your own. If you have to ask yourself: "Is this offensive?" It probably is.
Impersonating a Police Officer
Ok, so this isn't a decoration, but it's worth mentioning. While there is no New Jersey law that specifically states that you can't dress up as a police officer for Halloween, don't push your luck. It is still very much illegal to impersonate a cop.
If you want to dress up as a cop, make sure it's blatantly obvious that it's a costume, and don't go around trying to wave around any sort of fake legal authority, like the guy from Hocus Pocus:
"A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if he falsely pretends to hold a position as an officer or member or employee or agent of any organization or association of law enforcement officers with purpose to induce another to submit to such pretended official authority or otherwise to act in reliance upon that pretense."
Have you ever encountered Halloween decoration that push the legal envelope?
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