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Criminal Law: Resisting Arrest

About Resisting Arrest in New Jersey

When a person interferes with a law enforcement officer’s attempts to secure a lawful arrest they are “resisting arrest.” Interference with police work is also referred to as “obstruction.” In New Jersey, obstruction or resisting arrest can be a felony or misdemeanor. The distinction between the two is based on the severity of the actions of the person interfering with police work.

Resisting arrest can take many forms, most commonly:

  • Running/hiding from law enforcement;
  • Pushing/fighting law enforcement;
  • Struggling with a law enforcement officer during arrest (pushing, fighting);
  • Providing false identification (verbally or by passing false identification);
  • Refusing to walk, requiring the officer to carry, or drag you; and
  • Not stopping the car for police officers.

A person who is about to be arrested in New Jersey must submit to the arrest even if the police officer is mistaken. He or she cannot ever use force to resist an arrest (unless the police use unlawful force when self-defense is needed).

If a police officer tells a person that he or she is under arrest, even if the police have the wrong person, or are acting without a proper basis, the individual must submit to arrest. Failure to corporate with an arresting officer could result in conviction, which means you can face penalties such as:

  • Incarceration;
  • Fines;
  • Probation; and
  • Community service.

For example, if a police officer started beating a person under arrest, he or she would have the right to resist. If a person asserts the defense of self-defense or defense of others, they must submit evidence of that justified use of force (a prima facie case). It then becomes the burden of the state to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that the defense was not justified. Anything that is inconsistent with submission to arrest can result in more criminal charges and a high bail amount.

Knowledgeable Defense Against Resisting Arrest

For more than 25 years Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. has helped New Jersey residents who have been charged with resisting to arrest. The firm has four lawyers that are certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as criminal trial attorneys.

Our legal team consists of members who have been named among the “Best Lawyers in America” and many of our lawyers are SuperLawyers. We are more than prepared to aggressively represent you in court to ensure your best interests are always being represented.

Contact New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney

The criminal defense attorneys at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. are prepared to help you after a resisting arrest or obstruction charge. The single best decision you can make in this situation is to hire experienced legal counsel. As your legal partner we will explore all options of defense.

Your first phone call with our attorneys is free, so you have nothing to lose. Contact Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. today and ask to schedule your free consultation: 877-HELMER1. You can also contact us online via our contact form.

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