The offense of eluding typically happens as a result of a split second decision, one that is usually driven by alcohol or drugs. That decision could land a defendant behind bars for up to ten (10) years, fined up to $150,000 and scared with a permanent criminal record. Most defendants charged with eluding in Morris County, New Jersey are also charged with resisting arrest, driving while intoxicated, assault by auto, aggravated assault and death by auto. As you will see below, the offense of eluding in New Jersey is governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b. If you or a loved one has been charged with eluding in towns like Morristown, Boonton, Parsippany, Dover or Roxbury, it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Morris County, NJ criminal defense firm immediately about your options. The team of Parsippany eluding defense lawyers on staff at The Law Office of Jonathan F. Marshall has over 100 years of combined experience on staff. Our Morris County criminal defense lawyers have the knowledge and skill set required to successfully fight to protect your freedom. If you would like to set up a consultation with any one of our eight Dover eluding defense lawyers please contact our Morristown office directly at 973-309-7050. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to answer any questions that you might have and as always our initial consultations are always free. Now here is some key information on the offense of eluding, including what the prosecution must prove in order to obtain a conviction.
N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b: Dover NJ Eluding Attorneys
Can I be convicted of Eluding in New Jersey?
As previously stated, the offense of eluding in governed in the New Jersey Criminal Code under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b. To be convicted of eluding in the third degree in Morris County, the prosecution is going to have to prove three material elements beyond a reasonable doubt and they are as follows:
- That the Defendant actually operated a motor vehicle or vessel;
- During the said operation, the Defendant knowingly fled or attempted to fled a police officer; and
- The police officer was attempting to order the Defendant to stop the motor vehicle or vessel
In addition, if the prosecution can also prove that the Defendant during his attempt to elude capture, “created a risk of death or injury to any person” then the Defendant will be convicted of eluding in the second degree not the third.
To make matters worse, the legislature has created a permissive inference when it comes to eluding. That inference is as follows, “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”. This inference therefore, makes any eluding charge where in which the Defendant violated any traffic violation a second degree felony rather then a third degree. As you will see below, the difference between a second degree felony could be the difference between a probationary sentence and ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison.
What are the penalties for eluding in New Jersey?
Is eluding in New Jersey a Felony?
As mentioned above, the offense of eluding can be either a second or third degree felony. If convicted of a second degree felony in New Jersey, a Defendant faces up ten (10) years in a New Jersey State Prison, a fine up to $150,000, a felony criminal record and a drivers licenses suspension of not less than six (6) months but not more then two (2) years. Conversely, if convicted of a third degree felony in New Jersey, a Defendant could be sentenced up to five (5) years in a New Jersey State Prison, fined up to $15,000, a felony criminal record and a drivers licenses suspension of not less than six (6) months but not more than two (2) years.
With all that being said, there is the possibility that defense counsel could persuade the prosecution and Judge to allow the Defendant to enter into the Pretrial Intervention Program, also know as PTI. PTI is a diversionary program in New Jersey that allows Defendants charged with certain crimes the ability to bypass the traditional methods of prosecution and enter into a probationary period whereby if they complete all the terms imposed without issue the pending felony charges will be dismissed outright. Therefore, the Defendant could be given the opportunity to not only stay out of State Prison but also remain without a criminal record and without a license loss as well.
Morris County NJ Eluding Defense Attorneys
Our team of Dover, NJ eluding defense lawyers fully understands what a conviction for eluding can do to one’s life. We will use our experience and knowledge of the criminal justice system to do everything in our power to fight these charges. With eight criminal defense lawyers on staff, our office is one of the largest criminal defense firms in New Jersey, let alone Morris County. If you would like to set up a free initial consultation with any one of our eight Morris County eluding lawyers, please contact our Morristown office directly at 973-309-7050. Remember our initial consultations are always free.