Hindering Apprehension Charges Dismissed in Boonton Township, NJ
Fight Disorderly Persons Offense in Boonton Municipal Court
Travis J. Tormey recently represented a client charged with hindering apprehension in Boonton Municipal Court.
Our client, who lived in Boonton NJ, was at home bathing her two young daughters when police officers knocked on her door. The officers were there to serve a warrant on the client’s boyfriend. Our client answered the door and told police that her boyfriend was not at the residence. When the officers asked our client if she would consent to a search of the residence, she said “yes.” She then told police that she needed to put away her large mastiff dog because it is not friendly to strangers. The client went downstairs to put away the dog, at which point she saw her boyfriend in the basement. He walked out of the basement and was placed under arrest without incident.
Unfortunately for our client, the arresting officers were under the impression that she had initially lied to them about her boyfriend’s whereabouts. So the officers issued her a summons for hindering apprehension. This was a big deal because N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3(a) classifies hindering apprehension as a disorderly persons offense and calls for a jail sentence of up to 6 months in the county jail.
Our client insisted that she was wrongfully charged. At trial, she testified that she was unaware that her boyfriend was home when police officers came to her door. Additionally, both her boyfriend and her daughter testified at trial and corroborated her story.
Travis J. Tormey, founding partner of the Tormey Law Firm, represented the client in Boonton Municipal Court. Thanks to Mr. Tormey’s vigorous defense, the State could not prove its case against the client beyond a reasonable doubt. The judge ultimately dismissed the hindering apprehension charges. When issuing the ruling, the judge cited a New Jersey Supreme Court decision that declared that a person must volunteer false information to the police in order for it to rise to the level of hindering.
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The client avoided jail time and kept her record clear of a criminal conviction. Needless to say, she was thrilled with the result. This was a major success story for the Tormey Law Firm.