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Under New Jersey law, you are legally-required to submit if the police attempt to arrest you. Any attempt to evade detention is likely to lead to a charge for resisting arrest, which can either be a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor) or a second, third or fourth-degree crime (an indictable offense) under Section 2C:29-2 of the New Jersey Code of Criminal Justice.
Under Section 2C:29-2, resisting arrest is defined as, “prevent[ing] or attempt[ing] to prevent a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest.” This encompasses all attempts to evade arrest, including:
In New Jersey, it is not a defense to argue that your arrest was unlawful or executed by mistake. If a police officer informs you that you are under arrest, you are required to submit immediately in order to avoid prosecution under Section 2C:29-2. However, there is one important exception: If you resisted in self-defense or in defense of others, this can protect you against conviction for unlawfully resisting arrest. If you can present evidence suggesting that your use of force was justified (referred to as presenting a “prima facie” case), it then becomes the prosecution’s burden to prove otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt.
In most cases, resisting arrest is a disorderly persons offense, which carries a maximum jail sentence of six months. However, you can be charged with a fourth-degree crime if you are accused of resisting arrest by flight (i.e. running on foot or fleeing in a vehicle), and resisting arrest is a third-degree offense in cases involving:
If you create a risk of injury or death while fleeing in a motor vehicle, you can be charged with a second-degree offense.
Fourth-degree offenses carry up to an 18-month prison term in New Jersey. A conviction for third-degree resisting arrest can result in three to five years of imprisonment, and second-degree charges carry up to 10 years behind bars. Individuals convicted of resisting arrest can also face fines, probation and community service.
Our Haddon Heights criminal defense attorneys have decades of experience representing criminal defendants in Haddon Heights. We can challenge the prosecution’s evidence that you unlawfully resisted, and we will vigorously defend you against the charges on which you were arrested. If necessary, we will seek to have your charges reduced so that you face the least potential punishment; and, if possible, we will fight to help you avoid conviction entirely.
To speak with one of our experienced defense attorneys about your case, please call (877) 435-6371 or submit your case online. Your initial consultation is free and confidential; and, if necessary, we can take action immediately to protect your legal rights.
Don’t let your rights be jeopardized.