Springfield Criminal Lawyers for a Criminal Restraint Charge
The offense of criminal restraint is set forth at N.J.S.A 2C:13-2. This law exposes you to a third degree crime, a felony offense, in the event that it is found that you restrained another person in a manner that could have resulted in serious bodily harm or which created an involuntary servitude. If you have been charged with criminal restraint, consulting with a lawyer skilled in defending this offense is the most important thing you can do at this point. The defense attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall include several former prosecutors and a team that has over a century of experience defending charges in Springfield, Plainfield, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains, Linden and other local towns. Representation from an attorney who is extremely familiar with the court system and police departments in Union County can prove invaluable in defending a charge like yours and this is what we can offer you. Contact our Union Township Office at 908-272-1700 for a free initial consultation with a lawyer immediately.
Criminal Restraint Offense in Union County
There are two distinct criminal offenses that are created under N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2. The first is criminal restraint which arises when someone prevents another from moving freely despite lacking adequate authority or consent to do so, or when an individual is restrained in a manner that creates a risk of death or serious mental or physical harm. The second charge that is established under this statute is involuntary servitude. This pedigree of 2C:13-2 violation occurs when a person is either: (1) compelled to serve against their rightful objection; or (2) reasonably believes he cannot leave.
In order to convict an individual of either unlawful restraint or involuntary servitude, there are certain elements that must be established. The following are the elements:
- Unlawful Restraint. This prosecutor must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that: (1) the accused knowingly; (2) restricted the movement or exit; (3) of another individual; and (4) the circumstances presented a risk of serious bodily injury, namely (a) death or (b) severe harm to the person’s physical well being.
- Involuntary Servitude. This offense requires that: (1) an individual knowingly; (2) restrict movement or exit; (3) of another person; and (4) the person believed he must stay in the established location.
N.J.S.A. 2C:13-2 requires that a defendant act knowingly with regard to their actions, the circumstances surrounding their actions, and the results of their actions. A person acts “knowingly” with regard to their actions when they are aware of what they are doing. A person acts “knowingly” with regard to circumstances and results when they are aware of the presence or are aware of a high probability of the occurrence. Accordingly, the Prosecution must prove that the defendant was aware that they restricted the other person, was aware that the person did not feel free to leave, and was aware of a risk of serious bodily injury.
Grading and Punishment. Conviction for criminal restraint and involuntary servitude is a third degree crime. The punishment for this third degree crime carries penalties that include up to five years in prison and a fine that can reach $15,000.00.
Defenses. It is an affirmative defense to the involuntary servitude provision that the individual being detained is a minor and the actor was a relative or legal guardian and the intention was to gain control of the child.
Plainfield Criminal Defense Attorney for Criminal Restraint Offense
The City of Plainfield is one of the busiest municipalities for criminal charges in Union County. It therefore has just as many opportunities for someone being arrested on a criminal restraint offense as Hillside, Cranford, Roselle, Rahway or another area town. For those facing this offense in Plainfield or elsewhere, hiring a skilled criminal defense attorney is your best weapon. The lawyers at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall can arm you will exactly what you need. To speak to one of the attorneys on our staff anytime 24/7, call us at 908-272-1700.