How to Fight Eluding Charges in New Jersey
Hudson County Eluding Police Defense Attorneys
In New Jersey, eluding is considered a serious crime, which upon conviction could lead you to face a mandatory state prison sentence of up to ten years. Eluding is an indictable felony offense which is handled by the County Prosecutor’s Office at the Superior Court. Eluding can be a third degree or second degree crime depending on the circumstances surrounding your case. The degree of crime is what determines whether the crime is punishable by probation or incarceration. In today’s day and age the widespread use of body cams, dashboard video, or even cell phone videos means that the police chase will normally be filmed. This can make things much more difficult when it comes to defending cases. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to work with the prosecution can be extremely beneficial to you. At Proetta & Oliver, we have successfully represented dozens of clients throughout New Jersey for eluding charges and related crimes such as aggravated assault, assault by auto, and DWI. Our office routinely represents clients at the Hudson County Superior Court who have been charged with eluding in Jersey City, North Bergen, Union City, Hoboken, Guttenberg, Secaucus and Kearny. For a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal attorney, contact our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018.
NJ Law for Eluding a Police Officer 2C:29-2b
The New Jersey statute for eluding is N.J.S.A. 2C:29b and we have listed it, in pertinent part, below for your convenience.
“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 persons 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 persons drivers license, or privilege to operate a vessel, whichever is appropriate, for a period of not less than six months or more than two years.”
Pursuant to the above law, “eluding an officer” occurs when a person purposely prevents or averts a law enforcement officer from commencing or effectuating an arrest. In the context of an eluding charge, the act itself can be defined in many ways. Generally, an eluding charge indicates that you failed to take direction from a law enforcement officer. Most often, eluding occurs on a road or highway when one is in his or her vehicle and fleeing from the police. For example, if an officer was attempting to pull you over, but you: did not come to a stop while driving your motor vehicle, weaved in and out of traffic, or even sped away, you may likely find yourself facing eluding charges.
What is the Difference Between 3rd & 2nd Degree Eluding?
Third Degree Eluding
1) The defendant operated a motor vehicle or vessel;
2) While operating the said vehicle or vessel, the defendant knowingly fled or attempted to fled law enforcement;
3) Law enforcement was ordering the vehicle to come to a complete stop.
Second Degree Eluding
Additional element of eluding or attempting to elude law enforcement that “created a risk of death or injury to any person”
Penalties & Jail For Eluding Offenses in New Jersey
In New Jersey, charges are classified by degrees depending on the severity of the crime. An eluding charge varies from third to second degree based on the details of your case. The difference between second and third degree is that the conviction of a second degree crime has a presumption of incarceration and a penalty of 5 – 10 years in prison. This unfortunately means that even a person who has never been in trouble before in their life will be sentenced to a term of state prison that falls within the above range if they are convicted of a second degree eluding. If convicted of a third degree, the penalty is still serious and may result in 3 – 5 years in prison but on a first offense, there is no presumption of incarceration and the possibility of a more lenient penalty. Most people get stunned by the amount of potential incarceration that these crimes carry and glaze over the fact that eluding charges also come with a mandatory suspension of your driver’s license for at least 6 months and up to 2 years. Now in the scheme of things that doesn’t sound as bad as a decade behind bars, but if you are lucky enough to get out of the eluding case with only a probationary sentence, most people aren’t thrilled at the prospect of losing their license for an extended time. Either way, it’s safe to say that the penalties on both degrees of eluding may cause adverse effects on the life of you and your loved ones.
Eluding Lawyers in Hoboken NJ That Get Results
If you have been charged with eluding in New Jersey, it is in your best interests to seek legal guidance from a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney before deciding how to proceed with your case. At Proetta & Oliver, our goal as experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorneys is to use our knowledge of the system to mitigate the circumstances at hand and obtain a successful outcome for you. In many cases, with our help, our clients are able to secure a dismissal, downgrade to a disorderly persons offense, or gain admission into Pre-Trial Intervention. Once the PTI program is completed successfully, the charges will then be dismissed. If you would like to consult with us regarding your eluding charge in Hudson County or elsewhere in New Jersey, please contact us at our Jersey City office at (201) 793-8018. Our eluding defense lawyers are available anytime to assist you and consultations are always provided free of charge.
Recent Eluding Case Results in Hudson County
State v. K.C. – 2nd Degree Eluding downgraded to a disorderly persons offense and all charges dismissed outright against college student after successful completion of Conditional Dismissal.
State v. T.R. – 2nd Degree Eluding downgraded and admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention without a plea to avoid deportation.
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