Winslow NJ Eluding Attorneys
All too many times our Camden County defense firm receives calls from individuals who made a split second mistake and are now on the short end of an eluding charge. The truth is that it does not take much for a police officer in Gloucester City or another town in the county to accuse someone of failing to immediately stop. It may be that this never happened, you did not see the police car, or stopped once you noticed the officer’s lights. What you need to know is that if the court accepts the police officer’s version of the facts, you will be left with a felony criminal record and the penalties that come with an eluding conviction under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-1. There is no question concerning whether an experienced criminal attorney is needed when it comes to a Bellmawr, Haddon Township, Magnolia or other charge as serious as this. Our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, can offer you the services of one of the largest criminal firms in the state. Our team includes former prosecutors and a group with over a century representing those accused of crimes like eluding. To speak to a lawyer from our Cherry Hill Law Firm, call 856-662-8300. One of our attorneys will be happy to assist you.
Camden County Eluding Charge
N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2 is commonly referred to as the New Jersey Eluding Law. This statute exposes an individual to a third degree or second degree crime at the Camden County Superior Court if it is found that they knowingly flee or attempt to elude a police officer after receiving a signal to stop. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the encounter, the violation can result in a third degree crime or escalate to a second degree crime if certain aggravating circumstances exist. In order to prove an eluding charge, the prosecutor must establish three (3) elements. The first material element is that the person must be operating a motor vehicle, for example, a car, truck, or motorcycle. Second, the state must establish that the eluding took place on a “street or highway”. The third and final element that must be shown is that the defendant knowingly fled a police officer after having received any signal. At a minimum, this requires that the accused be given a signal to stop, knew that the signal was made, and disregarded the signal. When these elements can be established, a defendant may be convicted of third degree eluding. This can result in 3-5 years in prison and a fine of up to$15,000. There is also a driver’s license suspension of 6-24 months.
A second degree eluding offense in Haddon Heights, Berlin, etc., must include all of the material elements previously set forth plus an additional requirement. This additional element is that during the flight or attempt to elude a law enforcement officer, the defendant creates a risk of death or physical injury. In the prosecution of a second degree eluding case, the prosecutor may rely upon three separate theories to sustain the State’s burden on the risk of death or physical injury element. First, the prosecutor may present evidence of actual bodily injury or death that was proximately caused by the defendant’s driving conduct during the flight. Secondly, in the absence of actual bodily injury or death, the State may present evidence that the defendant’s driving conduct during the flight or attempt to elude created the requisite risk of bodily injury or death. An exaggerated example would be the state producing evidence that, during the chase, pedestrians were forced to dive out of the way to avoid being struck by the defendant’s vehicle. The third method of proof available to the prosecutor is to use the permissive inference which is available under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b). If the State can prove the defendant’s driving conduct during the flight involved a violation of any provision of chapter 4 of Title 39, the jury may draw an inference that the driving conduct created a risk of injury or death. Chapter 4 of Title 39 generally contains most of the moving traffic violations under New Jersey statutory law, such as DWI, reckless driving, careless driving, fleeing the scene of an accident, even obstructing traffic. As seen in State v. Wallace, 158 N.J. 552 (1999), the state does not care how minor the violation of Chapter 4 of Title 39 is, so as long as there is any violation, the jury may draw the inference that the driving created a risk of death or physical injury. Thus, second degree eluding offenses can be quite common and carry with them the potential for between 5 and 10 years of imprisonment, up to $150,000 in fines and possible suspension of license between 6 months and 2 years. The No Release Release Act (“NERA”) applies in the case of second degree eluding. This sentencing provision mandates that someone serve at least 85% of their jail sentence before they may be considered for release on parole.
Voorhees NJ Eluding Lawyer
Eluding is one of those offenses that have the potential to be life changing yet far from involving any sinister intent. A momentary lapse in judgment is common in N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b) cases. The aftermath of this decision can be extremely risky to your liberty, finances and ability to drive. To insure that you have the best protection possible, you need to take quick action to secure skilled representation. The attorneys at our firm can provide highly qualified counsel from a team with considerable resources. We represent individuals charged with eluding throughout Camden County including Voorhees, Pennsauken, Camden, Gloucester Township and Cherry Hill. To discuss what our criminal Lawyers can do for you, call us any time of day or night at 856-662-8300.