Two men who faked a UFO sighting were fined $250.00 each and ordered to perform 50 hours of park and recreation community service by a Morris Plains, NJ Municipal Court judge after each man pleaded guilty to a charge of disorderly conduct, a violation of NJSA 2C:33-2.
Earlier this year, Morris County, NJ residents called 911 emergency lines and media outlets to report seeing red lights in the sky. The two men admitted to creating the red lights by tying road flares to helium balloons.
It appears that the men's prank almost led to some serious criminal charges. New Jersey law enforcement authorities considered charging the pair with more serious indictable crimes in view of the waste of police resources and fire risk to local residents. New Jersey indictable crimes are similar to felony charges in most states. Federal authorities also cited aviation risks to pilots, only making this prank more serious for the two men involved.
The men wanted use their stunt to expose UFO believers as hoaxsters. They had no criminal history and were cooperative with law enforcement's investigation into the incident.
Today's society has a zero tolerance for any prank which merely alarms the public. Think twice before you pull such a stunt because if you are arrested in New Jersey for a silly joke, it could take years before your criminal record is cleared through the expungement process. It's not worth the laughs.
If you need to hire an attorney to assist you with your Morris Plains, NJ Municipal Court DWI, speeding ticket, or criminal matter, speak to a former NJ municipal prosecutor at The Law Offices of Thomas Carroll Blauvelt, LLC. Our 24/7 toll freehotline is 1-877-676-7729.
Thomas C. Blauvelt, Esq., is a former NJ Municipal Prosecutor and Managing Partner, Law Offices of Thomas Carroll Blauvelt, LLC, with offices in Edison, Bridgewater, Whitehouse Station. His 24/7 toll free hotline is open now at 1-877-676-7729.