Union NJ Resisting Arrest Attorney
What many people don’t realize is that it is illegal to resist an arrest whether the actions of the police officer are legitimate or not. The New Jersey Resisting Arrest Law imposes an affirmative duty to submit to law enforcement and refrain from an physical resistance. Failure to comply with this obligation and resist the police results in an individual being charged with resisting arrest. If you were arrested in Linden, Union, Kenilworth, Elizabeth, Roselle Park or another town in Union County for this offense, you need to call a criminal attorney at the Union NJ office of The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall. The reason is because you face serious penalties even if it is the municipal court variety as opposed to a fourth degree crime or third degree crime for resisting arrest that you are facing. Our firm has a team of seasoned defense attorneys and former prosecutors that can formulate an effective plan to avoid conviction. In point of fact, our lawyers succeed in most resisting arrest cases in escaping a plea or finding of guilt. Contact our office at 908-272-1700 to discuss your options in a free initial consultation.
Former Prosecutors Serving All Of The Municipal Courts in Union County NJ
Most resisting arrest offenses fall within the category of a disorderly persons charge. They are therefore most often encountered in municipal court. The violation may, however, escalate to a fourth degree or third degree crime, which are felony offenses that can only be dealt with at the Union County Superior Court, Elizabeth NJ, under certain circumstances. Fleeing an officer who is attempting to arrest you is a fourth degree crime. Third degree resisting arrest occurs when physical force or violence is used against an officer, or where the actions of the accused create a substantial risk of injury to the police officer. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, have been defending resisting arrest charges in the Superior Court and all of the municipal courts in Union County for decades and can assist you in fighting your charge.
What Has To Be Proven In Order To Convict You Of Resisting Arrest?
There are four (4) basic elements that exist irrespective of the grade of resisting arrest you are facing. First, the prosecutor must prove that you prevented an arrest. Second, the arrest must have been undertaken by a policeman or other law enforcement officer. Third, the officer must have been acting under color of authority, announcing his/her intention to make an arrest. Fourth, the actions of the accused in resisting must be purposeful. To elevate the charge to a fourth degree crime, a fifth element, an attempt to flee must be demonstrated. The additional element that must be established for a third degree resisting arrest is use or threat to use physical force or violence against the law enforcement officer or creating a substantial risk of his/her suffering physical injury. Each and every one of these elements must be established beyond reasonable doubt in order to sustain a conviction.
Can I Be Charged With Resisting Arrest Even When I Did Nothing Wrong?
The answer is unfortunately, yes. The reason why is because law and order are the paramount consideration. Accordingly, the theory is that the public is better served by a rule in favor of submission rather than potentially opening the door for individuals to make their own judgment calls and then potentially undertaking physical force against an armed police officer. The law provides an opportunity to challenge the arrest in court and not on the street. So even if you did nothing that warranted an arrest in the first place, that does not absolve you from being charged with resisting.
What Defenses Do I Possess To A Resisting Arrest Charge?
There are many possible defenses to this offense. First, you may not have resisted at all. Second, even if you did resist, perhaps your actions were not intentional/purposeful. Third, the arrest may have been undertaken when the police officer lacked color of official authority or without announcing an intention to arrest. And even when an individual is flat out guilty of this violation, our attorneys avoid a conviction in far more cases than those in which there is a conviction.
Can I Go To Jail If I Am Convicted?
Yes. The jail exposure is six (6) months, eighteen (18) months and five (5) years for a disorderly persons, fourth degree and third degree resisting arrest offense, respectively. The potential fines are significant at a maximum of $1,000, $10,000 and $15,000. It should also be noted that a conviction for resisting arrest will result in a criminal record that cannot be removed unless you qualify for an expungment after waiting a minimum of five (5) years.
Elizabeth NJ Resisting Arrest Lawyer
As you can see from this discussion, resisting arrest has the potential for causing some very serious consequences. However, this outcome is unnecessary in most cases since, as previously stated, a lawyer at our firm is able to avoid a conviction in the majority of resisting arrest cases. It is certainly therefore in your best interest to pick up the phone and give our criminal defense lawyers a call for a free consultation. An attorney is available to discuss your charge in Hillside, Cranford, Westfeld, Springfield or Plainfield immediately at 908-272-1700. Give us a call for the savvy guidance you need to protect your interests.
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