Being arrested is a frightening experience, so it’s not surprising that some people panic when it happens to them. However, resisting arrest is considered a crime in New Jersey, and you might find yourself charged with it if you run away from police or fail to cooperate. If that happens, you need a lawyer to represent you.
What is Resisting Arrest?
New Jersey law defines resisting arrest as purposely attempting to prevent a police officer from making an arrest. In practice, this can mean many things. It could be something like fleeing the scene of an arrest, but even something as simple as refusing to put your hands behind your back to be cuffed can be considered resisting arrest. Even if you’re innocent of the crime you were arrested for, you can still be charged with resisting arrest.
The penalty for resisting arrest depends on what form the resistance took. A simple failure to cooperate is a disorderly persons offense that can lead to 6 months in prison. Running away is a fourth degree crime that can lead to 18 months, and using force on the officer is a third degree crime that can lead to 5 years in prison. Regardless of the method, a conviction for resisting arrest will leave you with a criminal record that will make it harder for you to find a job, an apartment, or a loan.
How do I beat Resisting Arrest charges?
The prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to resist arrest. A good lawyer might poke holes in this case by showing that you were just scared and didn’t mean to resist. Misconduct by the officer is also a defense, but being innocent of the crime that you were being arrested for isn’t. This can be a fine line, and you’re much better off if you have a lawyer to help you navigate it.
We can also negotiate the charges down to a lesser offense or help you enroll in a diversionary program. If you complete a diversionary program, the charges against you will be dropped. However, getting into one can be difficult, and your chances are better if you have a lawyer to help you.
What should I do if I’m charged with resisting arrest?
If you’ve been charged with resisting arrest, find a lawyer right away. Rosenblum Law is experienced in dealing with charges of resisting arrest. Schedule a free consultation now. Our contact information is on the screen and at the bottom of the page.