There’s an old saying that it’s not the crime, it’s the cover up that brings you down, which could easily be applied to New Jersey’s law against hindering apprehension or prosecution. Often, people are surprised to learn that you can face serious criminal charges for “hindering” for attempting to impede your own arrest, investigation, detention, or prosecution, or someone else’s. If you have been charged with a hindering offense in violation of NJSA 2C:29-3, you should know the penalties associated with a conviction and talk to a lawyer who can explain your legal options. The attorneys at our firm are focused exclusively on defending individuals charged with hindering, resisting arrest, obstruction of law, and other crimes in Union County and New Jersey. Contact our local office in Cranford if you are facing hindering apprehension or other criminal charges in Roselle, Springfield, Clark, Berkeley Heights, Hillside Rahway, or another town in Union County NJ. You can reach us online or by phone 24/7 at (908) 838-0150 for immediate assistance. Consultations are always provided free of charge.
New Jersey Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution Charges
The name of the charge “hindering apprehension or prosecution” does not roll off the tongue, but the conduct that it criminalizes is straightforward. Under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3, you can be charged with “hindering” if you attempt to deter, hamper, or prevent your own detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment for a crime, or to do so on behalf of another person. This New Jersey law prohibits interfering with the capture of another person who is fleeing custody or arrest. You may also be convicted of hindering apprehension for warning someone that the police were coming to arrest them. Furthermore, 2c:29-3 prohibits individuals from generally interfering with their own prosecution or the prosecution of someone else. Hindering charges may also be brought against anyone who commits witness intimidation, tampering with evidence, concealing evidence, or tampering with witnesses.
How do Prosecutors Prove Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution in Union County?
Hindering charges are commonly brought when you provide a false name of false identification to a police officer at the time of your arrest on other charges. Prosecutors can prove these charges by presenting testimony or video evidence indicating that you interfered with police officers who were trying to arrest someone else as well. For example, they may present evidence or testimony that you got into a physical altercation with police as they were trying to arrest your friend of family member, or successfully establish that you told someone who was under investigation that they should lie to or refuse to answer questions.
Moreover, if prosecutors can establish that you provided a vehicle to someone fleeing from the law or provided cash, a firearm, a knife, or any other items that might help them evade capture or arrest, you can be convicted of hindering apprehension. If the police can produce text messages or other evidence indicating that you convinced someone to serve as an alibi witness or convinced a witness to change their story to protect yourself or anyone else charged with a crime, you may be convicted of hindering prosecution under 2C:29-3.
Will I go to Jail for Hindering in New Jersey?
Hindering apprehension or prosecution can be charged in several different ways. It may be charged as a disorderly persons offense or a felony crime (indictable offense) in the fourth degree, third degree, or second degree, in escalating order of severity. In the least severe cases of hindering apprehension or prosecution, for example if you simply got in the way of police officers who had warned you to steer clear of the site of someone else’s arrest or similar mild offenses, you may face a disorderly persons offense. Upon conviction of a disorderly persons hindering offense, you face up to 6 months in county jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
In more severe cases of hindering apprehension or prosecution, such as cases where you provide false identification to officers but do not use force to evade prosecution or arrest, you may be charged with a fourth degree crime, exposing you to up to 18 months of prison time and fines up to $10,000. For more severe offenses that do not involve the use of force, you may be charged with a third degree crime, carrying a maximum prison term of 3-5 years and a fine of up to $15,000. For the most severe offenses involving the use of force to avoid arrest or prosecution, you can be charged with a second degree crime, subjecting you to up to 5-10 years in prison upon conviction.
Consult a Rahway Hindering Apprehension Attorney
Regardless of the degree of your hindering charge, our seasoned Union County criminal defense attorneys can help. Call (908) 838-0150 to learn more about how we can aid in your top defense. A free consultation about your hindering apprehension or prosecution case in Union County, New Jersey can be extremely beneficial when seeking the most desirable outcome.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. We have four office locations conveniently located in Mount Laurel, Point Pleasant, Princeton and Middletown. All major credit cards are accepted