Mercer County NJ Eluding Lawyer
Eluding is a very serious offense in New Jersey and if convicted a Defendant could be facing a mandatory state prison sentence. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b, eluding is either a second or third degree felony. The facts surrounding the incident will dictate what degree of eluding a Defendant is charged with. On top of the potential penalties that one faces, based on the new bail reforms which started in January of 2017, a Defendant may be held without bail, pending trial if the circumstances surrounding the incident are bad enough. If you have been arrested and charged with eluding in Mercer County it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about your options. Keith Oliver Criminal Law has been representing clients charged with eluding, driving while intoxicated, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, unlawful possession of a weapon, assault by auto and other assaultive crimes for years in Mercer County for years now.
Local Lawyer for Eluding Charge Near Trenton
Our office has represented countless clients who have been charged with eluding over our careers. We are well aware of what a felony conviction, let alone a lengthy term of incarceration can do to someone’s life. As such, we aggressively attack the evidence against our clients in order to achieve the best possible outcome. We routinely appear in courts throughout Mercer County including the Hamilton Municipal Court, the Trenton Municipal Court, the Robbinsville Municipal Court, the Lawrence Municipal Court, the West Windsor Municipal Court, the East Windsor Municipal Court, the Hopewell Municipal Court, the Ewing Municipal Court and Mercer County Superior Court. If you would like to come into our office to have a free face to face consultation with one of our Mercer County criminal defense attorneys, then please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. Unlike what tends to occur at some of the larger firms, at Keith Oliver Criminal Law your file will not just be handed off to the associate who is free to cover the matter that particular day. We believe that regardless of the charges, our clients deserve continuity when it comes to their attorney. This is a very serious offense that not only deserve but requires a lot of attention. If you have any questions, we are available around the clock to help assist in anyway possible. Now here is breakdown eluding charges in New Jersey.
Eluding Defense Attorneys in Robbinsville NJ
As mentioned above, eluding is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b. In order to be convicted of eluding in the third degree in New Jersey the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:
- That the Defendant operated a motor vehicle;
- That a Police Officer signaled the Defendant to bring the said vehicle to a stop;
- That the Defendant was aware that the Police Officer was signaling the Defendant to stop; and
- That the Defendant knowingly fled or attempted to flee the Police Officer.
In order to be convicted of eluding in the second degree in New Jersey the prosecution must prove one additional element:
- That by fleeing the Defendant “created a risk of death or injury to any person”
This is a very low threshold and in fact, the courts have allowed a permissible inference to be drawn when it come to this additional element. If the Defendant commits a Title 39 violation, the courts will permit a permissible inference to be drawn that the conduct “created a risk of death or injury”. Title 39 is the motor vehicle code and it covers any and all motor vehicle violations, including but not limited to speeding, reckless driving, failure to maintain lane, running a stop sign and careless driving.
Furthermore, the court in State v. Seymour made it clear that regardless of whether or not the officer’s stop was legal or illegal, individual’s have a duty to immediately bring a motor vehicle to a full stop once they receive a signal from the officer. This is similar to a resisting arrest charge in New Jersey. As under that offense, even if the arrest is considered unlawful, that factor will not be a valid defense to the underlying resisting charge. With all that being said, the court in State v. Fuqua made it clear that the prosecution must prove that the Defendant acted knowingly. In other words, it must be shown that the Defendant knew the officer directed him to stop. Depending on the underlying facts of the case, this can prove to be very problematic for the prosecution. To speak to one of our attorney today about your options, please contact our Hamilton office at 609.789.0779.
New Jersey Eluding Statute
2C:29-2. Resisting arrest, eluding officer
2C:29-2. Resisting Arrest; Eluding Officer. 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:
(a) Uses or threatens to use physical force or violence against the law enforcement officer or another; or
(b) Uses any other means to create a substantial risk of causing physical injury to the public servant or another.
It is not a defense to a prosecution under this subsection that the law enforcement officer was acting unlawfully in making the arrest, provided he was acting under color of his official authority and provided the law enforcement officer announces his intention to arrest prior to the resistance.
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.
In the case of a person who is at the time of the imposition of sentence less than 17 years of age, the period of the suspension of driving privileges authorized herein, including a suspension of the privilege of operating a motorized bicycle, shall commence on the day the sentence is imposed and shall run for a period as fixed by the court. If the driving or vessel operating privilege of any person is under revocation, suspension, or postponement for a violation of any provision of this Title or Title 39 of the Revised Statutes at the time of any conviction or adjudication of delinquency for a violation of any offense defined in this chapter or chapter 36 of this Title, the revocation, suspension, or postponement period imposed herein shall commence as of the date of termination of the existing revocation, suspension, or postponement.
Upon conviction the court shall collect forthwith the New Jersey driver’s licenses of the person and forward such license or licenses to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles along with a report indicating the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. If the court is for any reason unable to collect the license or licenses of the person, the court shall cause a report of the conviction or adjudication of delinquency to be filed with the director. That report shall include the complete name, address, date of birth, eye color, and sex of the person and shall indicate the first and last day of the suspension or postponement period imposed by the court pursuant to this section. The court shall inform the person orally and in writing that if the person is convicted of personally operating a motor vehicle or a vessel, whichever is appropriate, during the period of license suspension or postponement imposed pursuant to this section the person shall, upon conviction, be subject to the penalties set forth in R.S.39:3-40 or section 14 of P.L.1995, c.401 (C.12:7-83), whichever is appropriate. A person shall be required to acknowledge receipt of the written notice in writing. Failure to receive a written notice or failure to acknowledge in writing the receipt of a written notice shall not be a defense to a subsequent charge of violation of R.S.39:3-40 or section 14 of P.L.1995, c.401 (C.12:7-83), whichever is appropriate. If the person is the holder of a driver’s or vessel operator’s license from another jurisdiction, the court shall not collect the license but shall notify the director who shall notify the appropriate officials in the licensing jurisdiction. The court shall, however, in accordance with the provisions of this section, revoke the person’s non-resident driving or vessel operating privileges, whichever is appropriate, in this State.
For the purposes of this subsection, it shall be a rebuttable presumption that the owner of a vehicle or vessel was the operator of the vehicle or vessel at the time of the offense.
What is the Sentence for Eluding in New Jersey?
Eluding is either a second or third degree felony in New Jersey. The difference between the potential penalties is drastic.
A Defendant facing second degree eluding charge in New Jersey will be facing the following penalties:
- 5 to 10 years in a State Prison
- A second degree felony in New Jersey carries with it a presumption for imprisonment. Which in essence means that if a Defendant is convicted of a second degree crime they will almost certainly end up in State Prison.
- Fine up to $150,000
- Felony Criminal Record
- Six month to 1 year Driver’s Licenses Suspension.
A Defendant facing third degree eluding charges in New Jersey will be facing the following penalties:
- 3 to 5 years in a State Prison
- A third degree felony in New Jersey carries with it a non-presumption of imprisonment. Which in essence means that if a Defendant is convicted of a third degree crime and is a first time offender they will most likely not go to State Prison. However, this presumption does not include a potential County Jail Sentence.
- Fine up to $15,000
- Felony Criminal Record
- Six month to 1 year Driver’s Licenses Suspension.
Will I go to Jail for an Eluding Charge in NJ?
Depending on the facts surrounding the incident and the Defendant’s prior criminal history, they may be eligible for one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs. They are the Pretrial Intervention Program and Drug Court. If a Defendant is eligible and accepted into the Pretrial Intervention Program they could not only avoid incarceration all together but a felony criminal record as well. For more information on this program, please contact our office at (609) 789-0779.
Lawrenceville NJ Eluding Defense Attorneys
If you have been arrested and charged with eluding, burglary, aggravated assault, resisting arrest, driving under the influence, stalking or terroristic threats, the attorney at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. We have been representing clients charged with various criminal offenses in towns throughout the Mercer County including Ewing, Lawrence, Hightstown, Robbinsville, Trenton, West Windsor, East Windsor, Princeton and Hopewell. If you would like to schedule a free initial consultation today please contact us directly at (609) 789-0779. We are available 24/7 to help assist in anyway possible. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.