Is There A Difference Between Resisting Arrest and Eluding Police?
The charge of Resisting Arrest is broken down into three different categories. They are resisting arrest – flight not alleged, flight alleged and eluding. The basic premise of all three charges is that an offender knew that the person attempting to make the arrest was a police officer and that person fled or attempted to flee. In all three circumstances the offender purposely attempted to prevent the officer from making an arrest by either making threats, attempted or actual violence against the arresting officer or the creation of risk or harm to the officer.
Resisting Arrest – Flight Not Alleged (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2)
One does not have to actually run from the police to be charged with resisting arrest. Just the attempt to refuse arrest could cause you to be charged with resisting arrest – flight not alleged. If someone comes out of a bar in Seaside Heights and is being inappropriate the police may be called and they may attempt to arrest the bar customer for disorderly conduct. Unfortunately the alcohol has taken control of the person's brain and they begin to fight the police officer over the arrest. As the police officer attempts to place the handcuffs on them or get them in the back of the police car they wiggle and give the arresting officer a hard time. In these cases that bar goer will now be facing resisting arrest on top of any other charges.If a person purposely prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer from arresting them they will be charged with resisting arrest. This includes the use or attempted use of violence against the arresting officer, threatening the officer, or creating a substantial risk of harm against the officer. In this circumstance a person will be charged with a disorderly persons offense but this charge could be elevated to a 3rd degree crime if there is substantial risk of injury to the officer or another.
Resisting Arrest – Flight Alleged (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2)
The next form of resisting arrest includes the actual getting away, or flight, of the offender. If a police officer attempts to take someone in Toms River into custody and that person breaks away from the officer they will be charged with resisting arrest – flight alleged, once they are apprehended. This can be a 3rd degree or 4th degree crime depending on the facts and circumstances of the fleeing prisoner.
Eluding An Officer (N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2)
If a New Jersey State Trooper signals a motorist to pull over on the Garden State Parkway near Brick and that person begins to speed away in an attempt to avoid the traffic stop, than when the motorist is finally stopped they will be charged with eluding. Eluding is the attempt of an individual to get away from the police after the police have turned on their lights in an attempt to pull the motorist over. Eluding is grouped in with “resisting arrest” and is governed by the same statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2 and will result in a 3rd or 2nd degree criminal offense. The important thing to remember when it comes to this crime, it doesn't matter what type of motor vehicle you are driving, whether it is a car, bus, truck, motorcycle or ATV.
What is the penalty for Eluding?
- Disorderly Persons Charge: Resisting Arrest – Flight Not Alleged
Penalties: fine not exceeding $1000 or double the monetary value loss (whichever is higher), up to six months in jail, possible restitution to victim, probation
- Fourth Degree: Resisting Arrest – Flight Not Alleged (injury of Police Officer), Resisting Arrest – Flight Alleged
Penalties: fine not exceeding $10,000 or double the monetary value loss (whichever is higher), up to 18 months in prison, possible restitution to victim, probation
- Third Degree: Resisting Arrest – Flight Alleged, Eluding An Officer
Penalties: fine not exceeding $15,000 or double the monetary value loss (whichever is higher), 3-5 years in prison, possible restitution to victim, probation
- Second Degree: Eluding An Officer
Penalties: fine not exceeding $150,000 or double the monetary value loss (whichever is higher), up to 10 years in prison, possible restitution to victim, probation
It is important to obtain legal counsel when facing resisting arrest charges. The firm of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. have been defending clients from Long Beach Island, Lakewood, Beachwood and across Ocean County since 1996. Call 732-820-1256 today for a FREE consultation.