Hunterdon County Resisting Arrest Lawyer
Resisting Arrest Offenses and Your Rights in Hunterdon County
When you are accused of preventing or interrupting an arrest, or eluding a police officer in Hunterdon County, you could be facing life-altering consequences. It is essential to have a highly qualified defense lawyer to protect your rights and interests every step of the way. In many instances, resisting arrest charges arise from someone merely pulling away or failing to submit immediately to an officer without physical contact. Regardless of the reason for this offense, it is critical to retain an experienced attorney who can stand up for you.
Resisting Arrest Charges
There are three different degrees of resisting arrest offenses that dictate the severity of penalties at sentencing according to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2. This violation typically comes with other related charges such as aggravated assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct, and even simple assault. A disorderly persons offense applies when someone purposefully prevents a law enforcement official from carrying out a legal arrest. On the other hand, engaging in flight to escape an arrest heightens resisting arrest to a fourth-degree crime.
If the accused uses physical force or threatens violence against law enforcement officers or creates substantial risk injury to an officer while interfering with their work constitutes a third-degree crime.
Elements Required for Resisting Arrest Conviction
For one to face conviction under N.J.S.A 2C:29-2; there must be proof beyond reasonable doubt that:
Firstly, Defendant’s conduct must be purposeful; they had conscious intent and expressed objective determined by behavior; specifically, interfering or preventing the said arrest.
Secondly, that arresting Officers were working within “color of law” when conducting the said arrest which refers not only whatever ground they claim vindicates the arrest but also by crucial importance into a routine police task resulting in lawful arrests continually downplayed–they had authority through appointment or commission owed upon them as police officers.
Thirdly, the officers are required by law to announce their intention of making an arrest before proceeding.
Additional elements must be demonstrated when someone is facing fourth or third-degree resisting arrest charges. Flight in the case of fourth-degree resisting arrest or any use of force/violence/risking the officer’s injury constitutes third-degree crime.
Is Resisting Arrest Legal?
You are not within your rights to resist an arrest, even if you believe such an arrest unlawful. The law requires individuals to yield during arrests, whether lawful or not, as escalation may lead to disastrous outcomes. Your right to challenge such an unwarranted action and whether it is lawful occurs in court proceedings and not while being arrested.
Self-Defense against a Resisting Arrest Charge
Yes. Self-defense is a valid defense if employed reasonably without crossing ethical dilemmas about what uses more force than necessary under the circumstances. This defense applies where police officers become brutal during the arrests their duty demands; then, self-defense becomes permissible where no other options exist for preserving one’s self-worth in line with human dignity.
Possible Penalties for Resisting Arrest
The penalties someone faces for violating N.J.S.A 2C:29-2 hinge on what degree one is charged with:
– Disorderly Persons Offense: For resisting arrest in a municipal court can attract a sentence of up to six months at the Hunterdon County Jail and $1,000 fine.
– Fourth Degree Charges: Indictable up to 18 months in prison with fines as high as $10,000.
– Third Degree Charges: Carries a penalty of up to five years imprisonment plus fines of no more than $15,000.
Table 1: Elements Required for Resisting Arrest Conviction
| Element | Explanation |
| Purposeful conduct | Defendant interferes purposely by pulling themselves away, failing or declining to follow directives that would result in an arrest, or any physical confrontation that interferes or restricts an officer’s attempts to execute a task on their official capacity |
| Color of law | The action was executed within the bounds of the law, even if the accused believes there was no lawful basis for an arrest |
| Announcement | Officers are lawfully required to verbalize or communicate otherwise their intention to apprehend, detain or otherwise effect an arrest |
Table 2: Possible Penalties For Resisting Arrest In Local Municipalities
| Resisting Arrest Charges | Classification | Penalty |
| Resisting Arrest in municipal court | Disorderly persons offense | Up to six months in Hunterdon County Jail and a fine not exceeding $1,000. |
| Fourth-degree resisting arrest charges | Indictable crime | Up to 18 months imprisonment and up to $10,000 fine. |
| Third-degree resisting arrest charges | Indictable crime | Up to five years imprisonment and up to $15,000 fine. |
In conclusion, resisting arrest charges can significantly impact your life; it is important to have experienced legal guidance throughout the process. You cannot resist unlawful arrests as this could escalate quickly into a much more severe situation. If you feel you had valid grounds for self-defense based on excessive force by the police officers during your arrest attempt, consult your attorney immediately so that they can advise you accordingly regarding how you can defend yourself while ensuring your rights stay protected.
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