Elizabeth NJ Eluding Offense Defense Lawyers
An eluding charge is either a second degree or third degree crime, both of which are felony offenses, and carry serious penalties. A conviction for second degree eluding is particularly severe as it results in a state prison term of (5) to ten (10) years. In order for the prosecutor to achieve this outcome, he must prove that you purposely prevented or attempted to prevent an arrest by failing to pull your car or truck over after receiving a signal, typically by activation of a siren and/or overhead lights by the police, that they wanted to stop you. Eluding charges often involve subjective judgments by police as to whether someone is really getting away as a significant percentage of cases fail to involve a formal chase. This is one of the reasons why the services of a highly experienced criminal attorney, preferably one accustomed to defending cases at the County Courthouse in Elizabeth, can be extremely helpful. Perhaps the real version of the facts is that there was was never a signal to stop by police, you legitimately did not see any lights or hear a siren, or that you pulled over without any real attempt to get away. It may also be that, while you didn’t stop and should have, you didn’t pose a danger to others as claimed by the police. The attorneys at our firm, the Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, have decades of success stories where fact patterns like these were effectively argued on behalf of a client to avoid an eluding conviction. To speak to a former prosecutor that is highly knowledgeable in this offense free of charge, call our Cranford Office at 908-272-1700.
Second Degree Eluding Charges
The crucial component of a second degree eluding offense is the creation of a risk of injury or death to others in the course of attempting to elude. The mere failure to stop does not suffice in this regard as it is the obligation of the state to prove that you knew you were being pursued and put others in a substantial risk of danger. Speeding (e.g. a chase), reckless driving (e.g. weaving through traffic), and tailgating are common allegations by police in second degree cases. If the prosecutor can prove allegations such as these and convict you of second degree eluding, you face up to ten (10) years in prison and a $150,000 fine. In addition, this grade of eluding is considered a “violent crime” such that the No Early Release Act (“NERA”) applies. All NERA offenses carry a requirement that an individual serve 85% of any jail sentence imposed before being eligible for parole. It is obviously imperative that anyone facing this charge retain an attorney who has the ability to effectively argue on their behalf, otherwise, they will have to spend a significant time period in prison (i.e. 85% of 5-10 years).
Third Degree Eluding Charges
It is a third degree crime to knowingly fail to pull over within a reasonable time period of being signaled by police to stop. The actions of the accused need not cause risk to anyone in order for the state to prove this degree of eluding. A conviction for third degree eluding carries a prison term of up to five (5) years and maximum fine of $15,000.
Mandatory Drivers License Suspension
In addition to the penalties described, an individual will have his/her drivers license suspended for a period of at least six (6) months and as much as two (2) years if they are convicted of either grade of this offense.
Whether you were just arrested or are already facing an indictment in Elizabeth, we can help you. Call us for immediate assistance at 908-272-1700.