What is Resisting Arrest?
Resisting arrest, a charge related to ‘obstruction of justice,’ occurs when a person prevents or attempts to prevent a lawful arrest by a law enforcement officer who has clearly stated their intention to arrest. This can include not cooperating with or obeying an officer’s instructions, threatening an officer, or striking an officer. In this case, a ‘law enforcement officer’ is defined as anyone performing an arrest in an official capacity, such as a police officer, sheriff, parole supervisor or correctional officer.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest in New Jersey
The charges for resisting arrest and its related crimes can be serious. Even if you believe an arrest is unlawful, it is always better to cooperate and seek legal help rather than enter an altercation with the arresting officer. The penalties for resisting arrest can vary depending on the circumstances and form of resistance.
- In New Jersey, resisting arrest is usually a disorderly persons offense or misdemeanor, which can carry a penalty of:
- Up to 6 months in jail
- Up to $1,000 in fines plus additional fees
In some cases, charges can be increased depending on the severity of the situation. Keep in mind that Eluding an Officer is a separate offense with its own set of charges.
- Resisting arrest by fleeing the arresting officer can be considered a Fourth Degree Crime.
- Up to 18 months in jail
- Up to $10,000 in fines plus additional fees
- You may be charged with a Third Degree Crime if you use or threaten to use physical force against an officer.
- 3-5 years in prison
- Up to $15,000 in fines plus additional fees
- If you endanger the life of another person while fleeing arrest in a vehicle, you can be charged with a Second Degree Crime.
- 5-10 years in prison
- Up to $150,000 in fines plus additional fees
Contact Schneider Freiberger Today
If you are charged with resisting arrest, you need an experienced NJ criminal defense attorney who will carefully examine the facts surrounding your case and advise you of your best options. Contact Schneider Freiberger today for a free consultation.