Understanding the Basics of Resisting Arrest

resisting-arrest-300x200Heading out to a nightclub at the Jersey Shore this weekend? Disturbances can often occur outside of bars and clubs in which police will be called in to break up a developing fight. These situations are not uncommon in Ocean or Monmouth County and can result in arrests of those involved in addition to those who are observing the fight. The New Jersey law is clear (as is nearly every other state) on resisting arrest. Simply put, it is a crime to resist an officer who is lawfully executing their legal duties with an arrest even if you believe you are an innocent observer.

A criminal charge and a criminal record, can carry serious consequences for your future including jail time and a $1000 fine. If you or a loved one was subjected to a false arrest, you should immediately contact our experienced Criminal Defense attorneys at Villani & DeLuca P.C. for a free consultation.

The Law (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2)

In New Jersey, you can be convicted of resisting arrest even if you were innocent for the crime being accused for and the arrest itself was unlawful. Uncooperative behavior can lead to additional charges, so it is best to submit to the arrest (false or not) and deal with the legalities later. According to N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2, Garden State law enforcement officials are required to clearly state their intention and identify him or herself as an officer prior to making the arrest.

A person is guilty of a resisting arrest charge if he uses means such as threats or physical force to prevent a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest. Resisting arrest is a disorderly persons or criminal offense, depending on whether any serious injury or death, or risk of serious injury or death occurred as a result of the offender’s actions. Resisting arrest in New Jersey is a disorderly persons offense that can be elevated to an indictable crime if the person uses force or violence against the arresting officer. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C: 29-2(a)(3), that would be considered a third degree crime and result in up to five years in prison. And remember, a person could be convicted of this offence even if the arrest was unlawful.

Think You Are Innocent? Stay Quiet.

Unfortunately, today’s society has become a lot less respectful to law enforcement and criminals have become more violent, so police have had to respond in a more aggressive manner in those situations. At the time of arrest, police officers can be a little aggressive in questioning and even searching private spaces that should be protected by the Fourth Amendment, but no matter how the arrest occurs, be quiet, be polite, and do not resist arrest. And then call a qualified criminal defense attorney to fight the battle for you.

Call An Experienced NJ Criminal Defense Attorney

Contact one of Villani & DeLuca’s criminal defense attorneys at 888-389-9533 for a free consultation about your resisting arrest/eluding charge. We represent clients throughout Ocean County and Monmouth County New Jersey.