Resisting Arrest Charge in NJ
If you have been found in a circumstance where you’re being arrested, it is only natural to want to ask questions or try to resist. Unfortunately, such actions can result in a different disorderly persons charge altogether that is called resisting arrest in New Jersey. According to the New Jersey Criminal Code, there are many charges for interfering with the work of a law enforcement officer. Resisting arrest NJ is one of the most common charges and it is outlined in N.J.S.A 2C:29-2 as follows:
- Persons who prevent or make attempts to avoid law enforcement officers from making an arrest.
- Persons who prevent law enforcement officers from effecting an arrest by flight, which is a crime in the fourth degree.
- Persons who threaten or apply physical force in the process of stopping a police officer from effecting an arrest is guilty of a crime in the third degree.
- Persons in above circumstances who by any other means create significant risk to another or public servants.
Provided the officer was operating under the authority of his official capacity, and he/she announced his intention to arrest the individual, who then responded to resist, a charge can be brought.
Resisting Arrest Penalties NJ
Typically, resisting arrest is a disorderly person offense that attracts a penalty not exceeding six months imprisonment. However, resistance by flight aggravates the offense to a fourth-degree indictable crime that is punishable by up to 18 months’ imprisonment. Such offenses are litigated in the Superior Court of New Jersey rather than Municipal Courts.
Also, the offense can be further aggravated by using or threatening physical force, and the penalties on conviction is a jail term not exceeding five years.
Burden of Proof for a Resisting Arrest Charge
For a conviction on a resisting arrest charge, the prosecutor must prove specific elements that differ according to the gravity of the offense being faced. To this end, the following must be proven for a disorderly persons charge:
- A law enforcement officer tried to make an arrest
- The defendant attempted to or resisted their arrest
- The police officer was acting under his authority and made clear his intention to make an arrest
- The accused acted intentionally to prevent his/her arrest
For a fourth degree charge to stand, the prosecution must prove that the defendant fled or attempted to flee. For a third degree charge, the state must prove that the defendant used, tried to use or threatened to use violence against the law enforcement officer.
These elements as stipulated by law provide weaknesses that can be used in crafting a suitable defense for an accused person, which may lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges and penalties being faced.
Resisting Arrest Defense Attorney NJ
Given the gravity of penalties, it is important to seek experienced representation if you are facing charges of resisting arrest in New Jersey. To maximize your chances of a favorable outcome, contact The Law Office of Benjamin Friedman, and our attorney will help fight your case. Call us to set up your free consultation at our conveniently located office in Marlton, New Jersey.