Restrictions on Begging

January 3, 2012

  • 92 Constitutional Law
  • 92XVIII Freedom of Speech, Expression, and Press
  • 92XVIII(M) Soliciting, Canvassing, Pamphletting, Leafletting, and Fundraising
  • 92k1880 k. Begging or Panhandling.

92 Constitutional LawRestrictions on begging are subject to same First Amendment scrutiny as restrictions on charitable solicitation; both the charitable solicitor and the beggar convey a message of need, in the hope of prompting the generosity of a contribution, and in the context of the First Amendment, there is no significant difference between making a contribution that is funneled through the administrative process of a charitable organization before reaching its ultimate recipients, and making a contribution directly to a beggar.
People v. Hoffstead, 905 N.Y.S.2d 736 (App. Term 2010)