Eluding a Police Officer Charges

“Eluding arrest is a serious charge in New Jersey, but casting doubt on your “intent” to elude the police is one of the great ways to fight against this type of case.”

Eluding Police Charge Attorneys Handling Cases in Morris County, Union County, Bergen County, Hudson County, Ocean County, Middlesex County and Statewide

Charged with Eluding Police NJ help best defense

Eluding a Police Officer Felony Charges NJ

If you have ever been pulled over, you know that feeling. Your stomach sinks as you glance in the rearview mirror blasted with blue and red flashing lights, probably followed by a siren if you have not noticed the lights soon enough. Maybe you know what you did, but maybe you do not. Either way, if you do not pull over when a police officer commands you to by their lights, siren, or other clear signals, you could be breaking the law. Eluding the police can be charged as a second degree crime or a third degree crime in New Jersey in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2. The range covered under the eluding statute covers anything from a delayed reaction to pulling over when police signal you to do so to a high-speed car chase. Regardless of the degree of crime in your eluding case, you are looking at significant fines and prison terms. And yet, it is not uncommon to fall into the trap of committing this crime over a simple mistake or panic reaction. You may be charged with eluding the police, even without the notorious high-speed chase.

There are effective defenses that can be used to beat eluding charges that our criminal defense attorneys employ on a regular basis to help our clients get their charges dismissed, stay out of jail, and avoid a criminal conviction on their record.

Do you need a lawyer for eluding a police officer felony charge in New Jersey? Contact us now at (201)-556-1570 for immediate assistance. The criminal trial team at the Tormey Law Firm only handles criminal cases, and thousands of them. Our lawyers have handled charges for eluding police in every county in New Jersey, including in Bergen County, Union County, Hudson County, Passaic County, Essex County, Morris County, Monmouth County, and Ocean County, and we are here to assist you. We have private investigators and highly knowledgeable criminal defense lawyers who can look into the evidence and see if any other evidence may exist (such as camera footage or witnesses) to show that you did not in fact elude a police officer or intend to do so. This can be crucial to your case to get the case dismissed, keep your record clean, and keep you out of jail.

Eluding Charges in NJ – What am I Facing?

Eluding is a serious felony charge in New Jersey which will be graded as a second or third degree crime depending on the circumstances of the alleged offense. You could be facing prison time depending on the nature of the charge and any prior criminal history you have. A second degree eluding charge, the more serious of the two, requires a risk of serious injury or death to the public (including any law enforcement officers). A third degree eluding charge is punishable by 3-5 years in state prison. A second degree eluding charge is punishable by 5-10 years in prison.

Defenses for Eluding in New Jersey

There are a number of ways that you can fight and beat eluding charges in New Jersey. Here are a few of the many effective defenses that our criminal defense lawyers use to successfully beat eluding charges against our clients.

The Defendant Did Not Act Knowingly

If you knowingly attempt to flee or elude a police officer while in a motor vehicle after they have signaled for you to pull over, you can be charged with eluding in New Jersey. The core of the offense is not stopping when signaled to stop by a law enforcement officer. One defense that may be available to you is that you did not knowingly elude the police. It is the prosecution’s burden to prove in court that when you attempted to flee or elude the police in a motor vehicle you did so knowingly and intentionally, rather than accidentally. But you may not even know or understand that the police are trying to pull you over.

The police must demonstrate that you knowingly intended to elude them. This means, they must have made their attempt to stop you abundantly clear. To prove that you acted with knowledge, the prosecution will likely submit evidence that you accelerated or drove in a manner that indicates you were trying to get away from the police. However, this is still the prosecution’s burden to prove and an experienced criminal defense lawyer can make an argument that demonstrates you did not act with knowledge that a police officer was trying to pull you over or cast doubt on whether you did so.

The Defendant Did Not Act Intentionally

If the facts show you did not intend to elude the police; for example, you failed to stop because you were confused, mistaken, or panicked, and no one was harmed, the state may not have sufficient evidence to obtain a conviction. The prosecutor must convince a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you intended to commit the charged crime. It is a tough burden of proof. It is not uncommon for some people to be confused and panicked when they see the lights and sirens behind them, and they simply do not react properly or in time to pull over and stop their car. Given how easy it is to commit this crime and the seriousness of the consequences, you should not hesitate to enlist the best legal advice and representation.

The Pre-Trial Intervention Program

In addition, you may be eligible for a first offender program depending on the degree of your charges and your criminal history (if any). The Pre-Trial Intervention Program can be used to keep you out of jail, and keep you safe from a criminal record, if you have never been convicted of a crime before. If possible, you want to avoid a criminal record, which is an unfortunate consequence of conviction, so if you have no previous convictions on your record, our criminal defense lawyers may be able to facilitate your enrollment in the PTI program. With this first-time offender’s diversionary program, you comply with the terms of the program during the required period and then the charges are completely dismissed. You become eligible to expunge the arrest and any documents pertaining to your eluding case six months after completing the PTI program.

Plea Negotiations

Even if you are ineligible for a diversionary program, our accomplished team of criminal attorneys may be able to get the charges reduced from a second degree to a third crime, or from a third degree to a fourth degree crime. When we are successful in securing a plea agreement to lesser charges, we can secure reduced penalties, such as less prison time or probation.

Our Criminal Defense Attorneys Secure Results in NJ Eluding Cases

Arrested for Eluding an Officer NJSA 2C:29-2 Attorneys

How to Fight Eluding Police in NJ

Since intent and risk of harm are key components to the crime of eluding, our criminal defense lawyers can often shed light on the weaknesses of the prosecution’s case to get the charges reduced or dismissed entirely. For example, I represented a client recently who was charged with 2nd degree eluding arising out of Parsippany, New Jersey. This second degree indictable (felony) level charge and must be handled at the Morris County Superior Court (in Morristown, New Jersey.)  This is a very serious charge and my client was absolutely panicked for good reason; he was facing five (5) to ten (10) years in New Jersey State Prison.

Any time this charge is being faced, it’s presumed that the defendant is going to end up in prison for some length of time. Even with no prior criminal record, you’re probably going away for a while if convicted of this second degree offense. Moreover, he was facing a permanent indictable (felony) charge on his record. As an additional painful side note, he would be deported if he was convicted of any indictable level offense.

My client was a young man and college student with no prior criminal record. He was riding a motorcycle around his neighborhood in Parsippany, New Jersey when he was stopped by police. He had never ridden a motorcycle before and was borrowing his cousin’s bike to cruise around the neighborhood. When I received and reviewed the videotape evidence from the officer’s police vehicle, it was apparent to me that this was not a 2nd degree eluding charge.

Basically, any time an officer signals you to pull over and you don’t immediately comply, you can be charged with eluding.  The punishments for this charge get more serious if anyone gets hurt, or if other people are put at risk. The complaint in this case alleged that my client saw the police officer attempt to pull him over and then ran in an attempt to elude the police officer at an extremely high rate of speed. When I reviewed the video evidence, it was clear to me that the officer failed to turn his sirens on until my client had already sped off on the motorcycle.

Moreover, according to my client, he did not see or hear any sirens until he saw lights out of the corner of his eye and then he attempted to pull the motorcycle over and flipped the bike. This version of events was corroborated by the video evidence and clearly showed that my client was a novice with the motorcycle and just didn’t know what he was doing. I was able to convince the assistant prosecutor in Morris County that the 2nd degree eluding charge could not be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. As such, the charge was amended to a third degree eluding offense. Then, based on my client’s lack of prior criminal history, his ties to the community, and his status as a green card holder, I was able to convince the State that he should be admitted into the Pre-Trial Intervention (PTI) program.

This program is for first time offenders who have no criminal record and their charges are non-violent. My client received two (2) years probationary treatment and two-hundred (200) hours of community service. As long as he completes the two years probation successfully while avoiding any other arrests and completing his community service, the charges will be dismissed at the end of his probation. He will have no record and this will allow him to remain in the country and avoid deportation. This was a tremendous success for the client and my firm.

For more ways that you can potentially beat ANY criminal charge in New Jersey, click here to read our Top 5 Ways to Beat Criminal Charges… you will feel better about any level of case that you’re facing.

If you want us to help you fight your New Jersey Eluding 2C:29-2 charges, call us any time at (201) 556-1570.


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Learn More About How to Fight Your Charges

If you've been charged with a criminal offense, disorderly persons offense, or traffic / DWI violation, you have the right to an attorney who will defend you against your charges and fight for your best interests. To learn more about how your attorney can fight to have your charges dismissed or reduced, click a link below to see our video library of legal defenses and strategies.

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