Hackensack NJ Resisting Arrest Attorneys

If a police officer in Bergen County tries to arrest you and you or a loved one resist, then a resting arrest charge is likely coming down the pipeline. Resisting arrest charges are usually the result of a split second decision, a decision that is normally driven by alcohol. There is a big misconception that this offense is minor in nature. Like most assault crimes  in New Jersey, resisting arrest is typically a disorderly persons offense (misdemeanor), however, the offense can be elevated to either a fourth (4th) or third (3rd) degree indictable (felony). Both elevated charges will leave a Defendant with a criminal record. Our law firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, has the experience and knowledge to defend these charges since we have:

  • Over two-hundred (200) years of combined experience
  • A team of ten (10) criminal defense attorneys that devote their entire practice to criminal law
  • Our firm has seven (7) former prosecutors
    • Three (3) of our attorneys were former assistant county prosecutors and held directorial positions of the Drug, Gang, and Gun Task Force, Major Crimes Division, Trial Division, Juvenile Division
    • Three (3) of our attorneys were former municipal prosecutors in over twenty-five (25) towns
  • One (1) of our attorneys is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Criminal Trial Attorney, a distinction held by less than 1% of attorneys in this State
  • One (1) of our lawyers was recently selected to Super Lawyers Rising Stars 2020 list for New Jersey which is a highly credentialed, peer-influenced, third-party validated, and a patented process that selects only 2.5% of the attorneys in New Jersey to this list
  • Selected to the National Trial Lawyers Top 100 and Top 40 Under 40

In addition to the resisting arrest charges, a Defendant may also find themselves facings simple assault, harassmentaggravated assault, disorderly conduct or terroristic threat charges as well.  The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall has been successfully defending individuals charged with resisting arrest throughout Bergen County in towns like East Rutherford, Paramus, Lyndhurst, Fort Lee, Ramsey, Cliffside Park and City of Englewood for over fifteen years. As you will see below, these charges carry rather significant penalties and should not be taken lightly. If you would like to have a free initial consultation with any one of the eight criminal defense attorneys on staff please contact our Hackensack Office at 201-429-9783.

Resisting Arrest Attorneys in Paramus NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2

In order for a Bergen County Prosecutor or a municipal prosecutor in Bergen County to convict you, they must prove the elements of the crime. The material elements are:

  • Resisting Arrest: Disorderly Person Offense: The state must prove four key elements beyond a reasonable doubt before an individual can be convicted of resisting arrest. Specifically, it must be proven that the defendant prevented law enforcement from  making a lawful arrest, that the officers were acting under the “color of authority” and announced their intentions to arrest the defendant and lastly that the defendant acted purposely when preventing the said arrest.
  • Resisting Arrest: Fourth Degree Felony: In addition to the above referenced elements, the state must also prove that the defendant ran from the officer who were attempting to make the said arrest.
  • Resisting Arrest: Third Degree Felony: In addition to the above referenced elements, the state must prove that the defendant used or threatened to use some form of physical force or violence against the arresting officer or against another person; OR that the defendant created a substantial risk of causing physical injury to the arresting officer or to another person by their actions.

Applicable Penalties if Convicted:

Disorderly person offenses are punishable by up to six (6) months in the Bergen County Jail. In addition, a defendant may be fined up to $1000.

A fourth degree felony carries a presumption of non-incarceration, however, that presumption may be overcome. If that presumption is overcome a defendant may face up to eighteen (18) months in a New Jersey State Prison and may be fined up to $10,000.

A third degree felony also carries a presumption of non-incarceration, however, just like the fourth degree felony, that presumption may be overcome. If that presumption is overcome a defendant may face up to five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison and may be fined up to $15,000.

Possible Defenses:

It is important to note here that the fact that the said arrest was unlawful does not alone prevent a defendant from being convicted of resisting arrest. However, there cannot be a conviction for resisting arrest if the officer either lacked the “color of official authority” or “failed to announce his intention to arrest” prior to the resistance in question. For example, if the officer was in street clothes and did not have their badge displayed and did not announce their presence as police, and the defendant was in reasonable fear for their safety and well-being

Additionally, it is well settled that an officer attempting to make an arrest may only use whatever force that is deemed “reasonable under the   circumstances” to effectuate the said arrest. Conversely, a defendant who is the victim of an officer using “excessive or unnecessary force” may use whatever force that is reasonably necessary to “break away” from the officer as to protect themselves.

East Rutherford NJ Resisting Arrest Lawyer

As you can see, what started out as just a stupid alcohol driven reaction may turn into a life changing decision. The penalties for resisting arrest are severe and should not be taking lightly.  If you or a loved one has been charged with resisting arrest, stalking, aggravated assault, burglary, trespassing or eluding in New Jersey it is imperative that you speak to an experienced criminal defense trial attorney immediately.  If you have any further questions with regards to this offense or any other offense for that matter please contact any one of our Bergen County offices for a free initial consultation. We can be reached directly at 201-429-9783.