Resisting Arrest in New Jersey
New Jersey law makes it a crime to escape or resist arrest. Many are unaware of this crime, either because of ignorance or because they see the opposite in videos shared online. Resisting arrest is a serious crime in New Jersey, and it can have lasting consequences including prison time.
New Jersey law states that resisting arrest occurs whenever an individual “purposely prevents or attempts to prevent a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest.” Resisting arrest–also known as “Evading Officer”–is a disorderly persons offense. It may carry a sentence of up to 6 months in jail in addition to fines. However, the degree of the crime may be increased if the individual flees from the officer. Fleeing may result in a prison sentence of up to 18 months.
Never use force against an officer. Although an officer does have a legal right to use reasonable force against an individual which he or she is arresting, the arrestee does not. Using or threatening the use of force may result in the resisting arrest charge being deemed a third-degree crime. Here, New Jersey law allows up to 5 years in prison.
You remain innocent until proven guilty despite being charged with resisting arrest. The prosecutor charging you must meet his or her burden of proof. New Jersey requires a prosecutor to show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you resisted arrest. You cannot be found guilty if the burden of proof is not met.
You maintain a legal right to a defense even when arrested. You have a legal right to legal counsel. As such, it is often favorable for defendants to retain a defense lawyer. Defense lawyers are trained to evaluate evidence and the facts of the case in order to develop and implement sound legal strategies.
Defense lawyers can obtain beneficial testimony to support a position that you did not resist arrest. You may avoid a conviction if your defense lawyer presents evidence demonstrating that all elements of the crime were not met; this can include that you did not know that you were under arrest of that the arresting officer was acting beyond the scope of his duties.
Being convicted of resisting arrest can have serious consequences. A conviction creates a criminal record, and this may impact your ability to find or retain work, among other things. Financially, a conviction can result in significant fines. Prison remains a possibility.
Call 856-227-2434 today for a free consultation.
The best offense is a good defense. Retaining legal counsel is a proven and effective way to contest a charge of resisting arrest. If you are charged with resisting arrest, John C. Iannelli Attorney at Law can help. Call today to schedule your free consultation.