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Union County NJ Criminal Defense Lawyers

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Disarming A Police Officer

Elizabeth NJ Disarming a Police Officer Attorney

In the midst of a scuffle with law enforcement, whether done intentionally or unintentionally, an individual can be charged with attempting to disarm. The alleged attempt of disarming can involve the gun of a police officer or his baton, pepper spray, handcuffs or any other list of items that constitute a weapon. As you now unfortunately know, a charge for disarming a police officer enters into a very murky area when it comes to your liberty although this offense is less than cut-and-dry in many cases. A skilled criminal attorney like those at our firm can frequently take advantage of the facts and law in these cases and avoid jail, etc. The lawyers at Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver defend this offense in Elizabeth at the Union County Superior Court, including charges filed in Elizabeth, Plainfield, Linden, Roselle and Hillside. Call a former prosecutor on our defense team to learn exactly we would go about achieving the best outcome in your case. An attorney is available immediately for a free consultation at 908-272-1700.

How Serious Is A Disarming Law Enforcement Charge?

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-11, Disarming a Law Enforcement Corrections Officer, is a second degree crime and can result in up to 10 years in prison at the Union County Superior Court, Elizabeth NJ, or at any other NJ Courthouse. However, this charge can be enhanced to a first degree crime that carries as much as twenty years in prison and a $200,000 fine under certain circumstances that are discussed later.

When Does Someone Attempt To Disarm A Police Officer?

Disarming a Cop is the same crime whether it occurs in Elizabeth or Atlantic City. Under New Jersey’s Criminal Code, there are three elements that must be present in order for a guilty verdict to be rendered. Specifically, they include:

  1. That the defendant knowingly took or attempted to exercise unlawful control over a firearm or other weapon in the possession of a law enforcement or corrections officer;
  2. While that officer is acting in the performance of his duties; and
  3. That officer is either in uniform or exhibits evidence of his authority.

The third element of this offense tends to be the trickiest for the State to prove in their case-in-chief. Primarily because undercover officers may be disarmed in the heat of an operation but never exhibit any authority or evidence of their power as a law enforcement officer. Developing these proofs in your case can be the difference between a conviction and an exoneration.

Enhancement To First Degree Disarming of a Police Officer

As mentioned above, the majority of charges for disarming a police officer are in the second degree. However, under certain circumstances these charges will enhance to a crime of the first degree. Specifically, this will happen if, in addition to disarming the cop:

  1. The defendant fires or discharges the firearm;
  2. The defendant uses or threatens to use the firearm or weapon against the officer or any other person; or
  3. The officer or another person suffers serious bodily injury.

Will Disarming a Police Officer Result in Jail Time?

Most likely. If someone is convicted of disarming a police officer in the first degree, as previously stated, they are exposed to twenty years of incarceration. In addition, there is a presumption that they will go to jail which means that imprisonment is a virtual certainty if convicted. The No Early Release Act (“NERA”) applies to disarming convictions so that a defendant has to serve 85% of the jail/prison sentence imposed before eligible for parole. The presumption of incarceration and NERA also apply to second degree disarming.

Plainfield NJ Disarming a Police Officer Defense Attorney

Whenever you are talking about a criminal case that grades out as either a first degree or second degree crime, you are dealing with a situation where the stakes are high. This is not a scenario for anything other than a highly experienced defense attorney. The lawyers in the Union NJ Criminal Office of Marshall Bonus Proetta & Oliver have over a century in practice combined, including significant time serving in the capacity of county prosecutor. We are equipped to represent you against an alleged incident of disarming an officer in Rahway, Union, Westfield, Clark, Kenilworth or elsewhere in Union County New Jersey. With extreme consequences like these in play, it is imperative that you seek a skilled criminal lawyer now. Call our Union NJ Office for immediate assistance at 908-272-1700.