Resisting Arrest Defense Lawyers in Point Pleasant NJ
Point Pleasant is a popular Jersey Shore town known for kicking back, relaxing, and enjoying life. For many, the intention is to escape the mundane everyday realities of the daily grind. Conversely, for Point Pleasant police, their intentions are to maintain some semblance of order, enforce the laws, and arrest anyone who jeopardizes the peace and enjoyment of visitors and residents alike. The sun seeker and the officer’s worlds often collide when a person is accused of a crime and then allegedly resists arrest. Despite your best intentions, if an officer attempts to arrest you and you supposedly flee, hide, resist, or speed off attempting to get away, you may be charged with resisting arrest or eluding police under N.J.S.A 2C:29-2. Depending on the situation, the police may charge you with either an indictable crime or disorderly persons offense for resisting arrest or eluding in Point Pleasant NJ. Further, the degree of the crime delineates whether you face time in the Ocean County Jail, or as much as 10 years of mandatory incarceration in state prison if convicted.
If you have been charged with resisting arrest or eluding police in Point Pleasant, you are best advised to take it seriously. Prosecutors and courts do not look kindly on those who violate this provision of the law, as these individuals are typically viewed as a threat to public safety and the officers who seek to maintain order within the community. For this reason, you need defense counsel from an attorney experienced in defending such cases in Point Pleasant and Ocean County. At Proetta & Oliver, we have the credentials, experience, and dedication you are looking for. For more information and to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer free of charge, contact our local office in Point Pleasant at (848) 238-2100 today.
Facing Charges for N.J.S.A 2C:29-2 in Point Pleasant
When accused of resisting an officer or attempting to avoid arrest by police, the statute associated with this crime is entitled “resisting arrest, eluding officer.” Prohibited conduct under the statute includes force, violence, or flight intended to avoid an arrest. Conduct that is more egregious and puts the public in harm’s way will be taken more seriously. For this reason, the degree of the crime appears to directly correlate with the danger posed to others and the actual harm caused.
Below is a list of prohibited conduct, the corresponding degrees of crimes, as well as examples of such offenses under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2 and potential penalties:
Disorderly persons offense: You may be charged with a disorderly persons offense if you intentionally “prevented” or attempted to “prevent” an officer from arresting you. If found guilty of this offense, the judge may sentence you to 6 months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and/or probation and a license suspension.
Fourth degree indictable crime: You will be charged with this crime if you purposely tried to avoid an arrest by flight. Even a conviction for the lowest of all indictable offenses such as this puts you at risk of going to jail for up to 18 months, paying a $10,000 fine, and having a criminal conviction.
Third degree felony crime: Anyone who uses physical force or violence against an officer or creates a substantial risk of injury to another person will be charged with this degree of crime. This offense is taken more seriously than the above because the charge recognizes that you disregarded that you could harm someone when you fled. Most often, this offense occurs when someone is pulled over by police and the driver either speeds up and leads the officers on a high-speed chase or the driver pulls over but then takes off once the officer exits his car. If convicted, the court is within its rights to sentence you to 3-5 years in state prison, a $15,000 fine, driver’s license suspension, and a criminal record.
Second degree crime: A second degree charge is the worst and highest level resisting arrest/eluding offense that you can be charged with. The conduct giving rise to such an offense is similar to a third degree except that in fleeing, you create a risk of death. A common scenario involves a person driving on a public roadway after having been out and about and having one too many drinks. The driver receives a signal to stop from the officer but instead of stopping, he takes off and speeds through an intersection, running a red light, and t-boning another driver causing serious injuries. Upon conviction, you may be sentenced to prison for 5-10 years, be ordered to pay restitution for injuries sustained by the victim, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in fines, and face a lengthy period of license suspension. Anyone charged with a crime of the second degree, regardless of whether it is a first offense, faces prison time, referred to as a “presumption of incarceration.”
As noted, the degree of the crime that you are charged with is largely dependent on your alleged conduct and the potential impact it had or could have had on anyone else. For example, if you leave Jenkinson’s or a local bar after having a few drinks, are wandering around, and wind up pulling away from an officer or hiding to avoid being arrested, you will likely be charged with a disorderly persons offense (akin to a criminal misdemeanor). Conversely, if you get into your car, drive off, hit a few parked cars or nearly miss a pedestrian while trying to escape an officer in a motor vehicle, you may be charged with an indictable offense of the second degree. In contrast to a disorderly persons offense, this crime is much more serious, as the backdrop of a conviction is 5-10 years in state prison.
Charged with Resisting Arrest in Point Pleasant, Where will my Case be Heard?
When accused of resisting arrest or eluding police in Point Pleasant, any charge involving a second, third, or fourth degree crime will be heard in the Ocean County Superior Court, which is responsible for hearing cases involving indictable felony crimes. Less serious offenses that are not considered crimes, such as disorderly persons offenses, are heard in municipal court. Thus, if you have been charged with a disorderly persons offense for resisting arrest, your court notice will direct you to attend Point Pleasant Municipal Court located at 2233 Bridge Avenue. While not a felony in the traditional sense, a conviction for this offense will appear up on your criminal record.
It is important to note: many people are under the mistaken impression that if they were falsely arrested, they cannot be charged with resisting arrest. This is simply untrue and the statute clearly states that this is not a defense against resisting arrest charges. If you received a signal to stop from law enforcement and it was clear that the person was a law enforcement officer, you can be charged with this offense.
Consult a Point Pleasant Eluding Attorney Now
Our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Point Pleasant, New Jersey can answer your questions about resisting arrest and eluding charges, advise you of your rights, and discuss your available options. Call (848) 238-2100 for a free consultation now. When you need the top defense strategy to challenge the case against you, we are here to help.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.