Mount Olive NJ Eluding a Police Officer Lawyer

Criminal Defense Attorneys in Morris County, New Jersey

Eluding Lawyer | N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2

Eluding Lawyer | NJSA 2C:29-2

Most people associate eluding the police with high-speed chases that appear on the evening news. However, eluding charges can often arise from innocent mistakes and simple lapses in judgement that are misinterpreted. A person can have many reasons for “eluding” a police officer. Perhaps you did not realize that the officer had turned on his sirens. Or perhaps you were scared and confused and simply made a mistake. People often flee the police simply because they are scared and confused. Although these situations are quite common, the penalties can be severe, including potential prison time of up to 10 years in NJ State Prison, in addition to other penalties outlined below.

The Tormey Law Firm represents clients charged with eluding a police officer and resisting arrest throughout New Jersey, including Dover, Parsippany, Roxbury, Denville, and Morristown. Our managing partner, Travis J. Tormey, has been handling criminal cases for years and he has an excellent reputation with local prosecutors and judges. Additionally, one of our other partners, Alissa D. Hascup, is a former Morris County Assistant Prosecutor. During her time with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, she prosecuted cases ranging from Homicide and Aggravated Assault to Robbery and Child Abuse.

If you or a loved one has been charged with eluding law enforcement in New Jersey, contact the Tormey Law Firm today for a free consultation. You can call us at 866-949-6948, or you can use the online contact form to schedule an appointment.

Eluding a Police Officer Charges in New Jersey

Eluding a police officer is a criminal charge in New Jersey. It is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2, which provides, in pertinent part:

a. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a person is guilty of a disorderly persons offense if he purposely prevents or attempts to prevent a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest. (2) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a person is guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if he, by flight, purposely prevents or attempts to prevent a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest. (3) An offense under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection a. is a crime of the third degree if the person:

b. Any person, while operating a motor vehicle on any street or highway in this State or any vessel, as defined pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c . 401 (C.12:7-71), on the waters of this State, who knowingly flees or attempts to elude any police or law enforcement officer after having received any signal from such officer to bring the vehicle or vessel to a full stop commits a crime of the third degree; except that, a person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if the flight or attempt to elude creates a risk of death or injury to any person. For purposes of this subsection, there shall be a permissive inference that the flight or attempt to elude creates a risk of death or injury to any person if the person’s conduct involves a violation of chapter 4 of Title 39 or chapter 7 of Title 12 of the Revised Statutes. In addition to the penalty prescribed under this subsection or any other section of law, the court shall order the suspension of that person’s driver’s license, or privilege to operate a vessel, whichever is appropriate, for a period of not less than six months or more than two years.

Elements of an Eluding Charge in New Jersey

Eluding is simply the act of fleeing by motor vehicle from a person who the perpetrator knows to be a law enforcement officer. The law stipulated that you cannot knowingly attempt to flee or elude a law enforcement officer after having received a signal from the officer to stop your vehicle. Basically, when an officer signals for you to stop your vehicle, you must do so.

The law presumes that the registered owner of the vehicle was in fact operating the vehicle at the time of the eluding offense. This can create thorny legal problems when the “operation” element is in dispute because the defendant must prove that he or she was not operating the vehicle.

Additionally, NJ courts have interpreted the statute to define “eluding” as occurring when a person flees by motor vehicle “from a person who the perpetrator knows to be a law enforcement officer.” State v. Mendez, 345 N.J. Super. 498, 785 A.2d 945 (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div. 2001) aff’d, 175 N.J. 201, 814 A.2d 1043 (2002). Importantly, the “knowingly” requirement is the hardest element for the State to prove. A person acts knowingly with respect to the attendant circumstances of their conduct if they are aware that such circumstances exist. Knowledge is a condition of the mind which cannot be seen and can only be determined by inferences from conduct, words, or acts. As a result, if there is a reasonable doubt as to the alleged perpetrator’s criminal intent, the defendant cannot be found guilty.

Eluding Consequences in New Jersey

Eluding a police officer is a serious criminal offense in New Jersey. Eluding is typically classified as a third degree crime, which subjects the defendant to a prison range of three (3) to five (5) years.

If the attempt to elude creates a risk of death or injury to another person, the crime is elevated to a second degree offense. The “risk of death or injury” language in the statute is interpreted very broadly by NJ courts. As a result, practically every attempt to elude may be classified as a second degree crime. This is a critical distinction because a second degree offense carries a presumption of incarceration. If you are convicted of second degree eluding in New Jersey, you can be sentenced to as many as 10 years in NJ State Prison, with a minimum period of parole ineligibility of five (5) years.

Contact our Morristown NJ Eluding Defense Lawyers for a Free Consultation

Due to the seriousness of this crime, if you or your loved one is accused of eluding, it is essential that you contact an experienced attorney. Since eluding is a discretionary charge, it raises all kinds of questions. For instance, the law requires a driver to pull over immediately upon being signaled by a police officer; however, what constitutes “immediate” under the law? And when does eluding begin? How does the officer know that the driver has seen his signal?
The Tormey Law Firm has a team of experienced lawyers who will zealously represent you and craft the best defense possible. We will protect your constitutional rights by reviewing all of the evidence available in your case, including video evidence. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case. We will be happy to speak to you and answer any questions you might have. You can call us day or night at 866-949-6948, or you can use the online contact form to schedule an appointment.

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Experience You Can Trust

With unmatched knowledge and experience in the practice of law, the seasoned attorneys at The Tormey Law Firm are committed to serving their clients and tenaciously confronting the allegations against them.

We will examine every facet of your case in order to defend your constitutional rights and reputation.

With a dedicated legal advocate to assist you, our attorneys will ensure that you are never forced to navigate the complex legal process on your own.

The Tormey Law Firm

Morristown Location

55 Madison Avenue, Suite 400, Morristown, NJ 07960

(908) 336-5008 Directions

Areas we serve

All of Morris County including Boonton, Boonton Township, Butler, Chatham Borough, Chatham Township, Chester Borough, Chester Township, Denville Township, Dover, East Hanover Township, Florham Park, Hanover Township, Harding Township, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Long Hill Township, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill Township, Mont Arlington, Montville, Morris Plains, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive Township, Mountain Lakes, Netcong, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township, Pequannock Township, Randolph, Riverdale, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Roxbury Township, Victory Gardens, Washington Township, and Wharton.

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