An eluding charge is a severe criminal offense anywhere in New Jersey and there is no doubt that Ocean County takes this crime particularly serious. You face the very real possibility of incarceration for years and a long driver's license suspension f you are convicted of eluding or attempting to elude the police. Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is an aggressive and knowledgeable team of eight criminal lawyers who have been appearing throughout this jurisdiction, including at the Ocean County Superior Court, for over a century combined. Our team also includes several former prosecutors that have served at the county level and in approximately 15 municipalities, including Toms River, Jackson, Manchester, Brick and Point Pleasant Beach. A lawyer from our law office is prepared to answer any questions you may have and initial consultations are always without charge. Contact our Toms River Office at (732) 286-6500 to speak to an attorney immediately.Ocean County Eluding Charge
The charge of eluding is contained at N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2(b). It is either a third degree crime or second degree crime to elude the police under this law. The offense is applies to a motorist who "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". When the operation by the fleeing party creates a risk of injury or death to the officer or third parties, a second degree eluding is triggered. If conduct does not rise to this level, eluding results in a third degree crime.
The key ingredient frequently in dispute in an eluding case is knowledge on the part of the accused. The offense only applies to an operator who receives a signal to stop from a police officer and knowingly attempts to flee. If the driver did not realize that a signal was given or, alternatively, was proceeding for a reason other than to elude (e.g. you realized you were signaled but were trying to pull over to a safer area), 2C:29-2(b) has not been violated.
Second Degree Eluding. As previously stated, eluding mushrooms into a second degree crime when the efforts to elude police create a risk of death or injury. The classic scenario where this arises is the high speed chase although this type of extreme recklessness is not required in order to result in escalation of an eluding in this manner. You should also know that 2C:29-2(b) creates a presumption that there was a risk of death or injury if operation involved a violation of a traffic law (e.g. speeding, improper lane change, failure to observe traffic safety device, etc.).
Presumption of Operation. The NJ Eluding Law creates a rebuttable presumption that the owner of the vehicle was the operator when the eluding violation was committed.
Penalties for Eluding. The penalties that apply at the time of sentencing hinge on whether the conviction is for third degree eluding or second degree eluding. A third degree crime for eluding results in a fine of up to $15,000 and up to 5 years in state prison. This variety of eluding is also eligible for diversion through the Pretrial Intervention Program ("PTI"). A second degree crime for eluding is ineligible for PTI and also carries a presumption of incarceration. What this means is that it is almost a certainty that you will be incarcerated for some period of time if you are convicted of second degree eluding. The period of imprisonment is 5-10 years and the fine is up to $150,000.
Mandatory License Suspension. There is a six month mandatory driver's license suspension that applies at the time of sentencing for eluding.Little Egg Harbor NJ Eluding Attorneys
Given the severity of the penalties for eluding, you definitely need to consult a qualified lawyer if you are the target of an arrest or have already been charged. Here at Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, our attorneys possess over 100 years of collective experience with countless eluding cases having been handled at the county courthouse in Toms River. This is the place your 2C:29-2(b) offense will be handled whether the incident occurred in Little Egg Harbor, Seaside Heights, Lakehurst, Barnegat, Stafford or another Ocean County municipality. An attorney is available immediately to review all of the facts and circumstances of your encounter with the police and provide you with sound advice. Call (732) 286-6500 to speak to a lawyer now.