New Jersey takes Eluding very seriously and if you are convicted, you could face a mandatory state prison sentence for up to ten (10) years. Eluding is considered an indictable felony offense and is therefore handled at the Superior Court by the County Prosecutor’s Office. Depending on the facts, your eluding charge can be a 3rd degree or upgraded to a 2nd degree felony. The difference between these different degrees often hinges on debatable circumstances and can mean the difference between incarceration or probation. This is just one of the few areas where an experienced criminal defense attorney can work with the court and prosecution to help minimize your exposure. At the Proetta & Oliver we have successfully defended thousands of criminal charges in New Jersey including eluding and related charges such as Aggravated Assault, Assault by Auto, and DWI. We represent clients for eluding throughout Union County including Elizabeth, Clark, Scotch Plains, New Providence, Berkeley Heights, and Mountainside. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, then contact our office at (908) 838-0150 for a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal lawyer.
Eluding: N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2b
The New Jersey statute for eluding is N.J.S.A. 2C:29b and we have listed it, in pertinent part, below for your convenience.
Any person, while operating a motor vehicle on any street or highway in this State or any vessel, as defined pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1995, c.401 (C.12:7-71), on the waters of this State, who knowingly flees or attempts to elude any police or law enforcement officer after having received any signal from such officer to bring the vehicle or vessel to a full stop commits a crime of the third degree; except that, a person is guilty of a crime of the second degree if the flight or attempt to elude creates a risk of death or injury to any person. For purposes of this subsection, there shall be a permissive inference that 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. In addition to the penalty prescribed under this subsection or any other section of law, the court shall order the suspension of that persons drivers license, or privilege to operate a vessel, whichever is appropriate, for a period of not less than six months or more than two years.
Third Degree Eluding
1) The defendant operated a motor vehicle or vessel;2) While operating the said vehicle or vessel, the defendant knowingly fled or attempted to fled law enforcement;
3) Law enforcement was ordering the vehicle to come to a complete stop.
Second Degree Eluding
Additional element of eluding or attempting to elude law enforcement that “created a risk of death or injury to any person”
Grading of Eluding Offenses in New Jersey
The main difference between the degree of charges is that if you have convicted or plead guilty to a second degree crime in New Jersey you will face a presumption of incarceration even if you have no criminal record. Moreover, the exposure of prison time is from 5 – 10 years. A third degree crime is also very serious and still carries 3 – 5 years in prison but defendants are not presumed to be sentenced to incarceration if it is their first offense. Nevertheless, the penalties for both types of eluding (second or third degree felony) can be devastating on not only your life but on your loved ones as well. As experienced criminal defense lawyers, our goal is to improve your legal position and minimize your consequences. For instance, it is not unusual for us to secure our clients admission in Pre-Trial Intervention which results in a dismissal of the charges upon completion. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you, then contact us at (908) 838-0150 for a free consultation.
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