Our criminal defense attorneys recently represented a young college student athlete who had been charged with a second degree aggravated assault on a police officer under 2C:12-1b(5)(a) and second degree eluding under 2C:29-2b each carrying a presumption of state prison of 5 – 10 years. Our client was on a scholarship to play sports for the college and had never been in trouble before but at the time we got involved in his case, his life was literally hanging in the balance depending on if he got convicted of these charges or not.
The circumstances of the case were that on the day in question, our client had been waiting in traffic to enter onto the highway. Police were directing traffic on a very congested roadway that was not moving very fast. After some time our client saw an opportunity to enter onto the ramp to the highway even the police were still not letting anyone go, so he decided to enter onto the highway without their direction. He drove by the one individual directing traffic and then a uniformed police officer stepped out in front of his car to try and stop him and our client swerved and the police officer was alleged hit by his vehicle. Our client continued driving onto the ramp and on to the highway until eventually becoming stuck in traffic again and being pulled over by police.
Based on the alleged facts of the case it seemed that it was an honest mistake that had been blown way out of proportion and that our client had not even realized the officer was struck by the side mirror of the car. Knowing these facts and what laid in the balance for our client and his future, our criminal attorneys began defend and attack the state’s case against him. Initially, the charges were too serious on their face for the prosecutor’s office to consider a remand so the case was sent on the path to indictment. From there we began working with the prosecutor’s towards what we considered a just and equitable resolution for our client – something not involving a criminal conviction. Eventually we were able to get the county prosecutor’s office to agree to downgrade the second degree charge of eluding to a disorderly persons offense of disorderly conduct and dismiss the aggravated assault on the police officer. From there we were able to make an application and motion to court to have our client entered into the conditional dismissal program for a period of 12 months, at which time the case against him would be dismissed in its entirety up successful completion.
State v. K.C. decided July 28, 2017