Saggy Pants May Be Foolish But Not Criminal Violation: Judge


Wearing saggy pants that hang from your thighs and expose your underwear may be “foolish,” but it is not illegal, says a New York City judge’s ruling reported by the New York Law Journal. “While most of us may consider it distasteful, and indeed foolish, to wear ones pants so low as to expose the underwear [] ‘people can dress as they please, wear anything, so long as they do not offend public order and decency,'” Criminal Court Judge Ruben Franco wrote.

Last year, Julio Martinez received a summons because, as the arresting officer wrote, Martinez wore “his pants down below his buttocks exposing underwear [and] potentially showing private parts.” The sole charge was disorderly conduct and the sole factual allegation was that the defendant wore his pants troublesomely low. Franco held that the summons was insufficient and dismissed the case. “The issuance of this summons appears to be an attempt by one police officer to show his displeasure with a particular style of dress,” the judge said. His decision provides a brief history of sagging pants and the efforts to legislate against them, including the citation of a Wikipedia article on sagging.

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