Being charged with a criminal offense can be scary however being charged with a felony can be downright terrifying. If you have been charged with eluding in Somerset County, it is crucial that you speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Eluding is a serious felony offense in New Jersey. If not handled properly a Defendant could wind up spending up to a decade behind bars. The attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law have been representing clients charged with eluding in courts throughout New Jersey, including Somerset County for years now. Most of our clients charged with eluding also tend to be facing resisting arrest, DWI, aggravated assault, assault by auto, obstruction, automobile theft and receiving stolen property. Regardless of the offense, the criminal defense lawyers at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. If you would like to come into our office for a face to face consultation then please contact us at (908) 533-1064. We fully understand the pressure and stress most are under when they are dealing with criminal charges. As such, we will work hard to formulate a game plan that works best to suit your needs, whether that be a trial, motion practice or negotiating a favorable plea agreement. We serve all of Somerset County, including towns like Somerville, Bernards, South Bound Brook, North Plainfield, Hillsborough, Bridgewater, Raritan, Franklin and Watchung. As always, our initial consultations are free of costs, so if you have any questions whatsoever, please do not hesitate to contact us. Now here is some key information on the offense of eluding in New Jersey.
Charged with Eluding in Bridgewater: Here is What you Need to Know
Since the crime of eluding will always be classified as an indictable offense (Felony), the Superior Court of the County where the incident happened will have original jurisdiction over the case. That also means that all other offenses, including traffic violations that are issued in concert with the eluding charge must be transferred to the Superior Court as well. Here is an example: A New Jersey State Trooper attempts to pull over an individual for speeding on Route 287 in Bridgewater. Instead of pulling over the individual attempts to evade the officer, and sends them on a chase that ultimately ends in a crash in Franklin Township. The individual is ultimately charged with eluding in the second degree, speeding and driving while intoxicated. All of the offense, including the DWI and speeding must be transferred from the Bridgewater Municipal Court to the Somerset County Superior Court for disposition. Here is what the State needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt:
What are the Elements for Eluding Charge in NJ?
Eluding is a very serious felony offense in New Jersey. The governing statute in New Jersey for eluding is NJSA 2C:29-2. The offense of eluding basic encompasses a situation in which a Defendant attempts to and/or does in fact evade being captured by a police officer. This offense normally revolves around some form of a car chase. NJSA 2C:29-2 states in pertinent part that
“Any person, while operating a motor vehicle on any street or highway in this State, [or any vessel], 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.”
In order to be convicted of a third degree eluding charge in New Jersey, the state must prove that:
- The Defendant was operating a motor vehicle and/or vessel;
- That a police signaled the Defendant to bring the vehicle and/or vessel to come to a full stop;
- That the Defendant was aware that the police officer was signaling them to stop; &
- That the Defendant knowingly fled or attempted to elude said officer.
In order to be convicted of a second degree eluding charge in New Jersey, in addition to the above elements, the state must prove that:
- That the flight or attempt to elude created a risk of death or injury to any person.
In other words, there was at least one person that was put at risk by the Defendant’s conduct. That “one person” can and often does include the Defendant and/or the officer involved in the chase. In State v. Wallace, the court concluded that “a defendant who uses a motor vehicle to elude and in doing so creates a risk of death or injury only to himself or herself is guilty of second degree eluding; statute does not require showing of injury to one other than the defendant”.
It is also important to note here that the fact that the “chase” lasted ten seconds or twenty minutes is irrelevant.
Will I go to Jail For Eluding in NJ?
2nd Degree Eluding Defense Lawyers in Somerset County NJ
- 5 to 10 years in jail;
- Presumption of imprisonment attaches
- $150,000 fine;
- Felony criminal record;
- 6 months to 2 year loss of license.
3rd Degree Eluding Defense Attorneys in Bridgewater NJ
- 3 to 5 years in jail;
- Presumption of non-imprisonment attaches provided the Defendant has no prior criminal history
- $15,000 fine;
- Felony criminal record;
- 6 months to 2 year loss of license.
Can I get PTI for Eluding in Somerville NJ?
The facts of the case and the Defendant’s prior criminal history will play a major role in determining if an individual will be eligible for the Pretrial Intervention Program. This is a diversionary program whereby if the Defendant completes the probationary period without violating any of the terms, the charges will be outright dismissed. Clearly, this could be a tremendous outcome for an individual facing 5 to 10 years in a State prison.
Common Criminal Offenses Issued in Connection with Eluding Case in NJ
More often than not the conduct that leads to an individual being charged with eluding happens as a result of some other form of illegal conduct. Some of the more common criminal charges we see being issued under this scenario include offenses like: possession of heroin, unlawful possession of a weapon and driving while intoxicated. In other words, there was illegal items located inside the motor vehicle that the individual did not want to get caught with. With that being said, it is also common to see additional charges being filed for conduct that happens when the individual is eventually apprehended, like assault by auto, resisting arrest, obstruction of the administration of law and aggravated assault on a police officer. Regardless of the scenario, this clearly makes a bad situation far worse. Tack on charges tend to make the initial charge more aggressively prosecuted.
Looking to Speak to a Hunterdon County NJ Eluding Defense Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with eluding, stalking, harassment, DWI, endangering the welfare of a child, aggravated assault or resisting arrest, the defense attorneys at Keith Oliver Criminal Law can help. Our office will comb through the evidence presented against you and aggressively attack any weakness that we see in order to obtain a favorable outcome. Our office serves all of Somerset County, including towns like Bridgewater, Somerville, Franklin, Raritan, Bound Brook, North Plainfield, South Bound Brook and Bedminster. If you would like to speak to one of our Somerset County criminal defense attorneys today about your options then please contact us at (908) 533-1064.