An arrest can be a highly-charged emotional situation, which is why some people are tempted to resist. However, resisting arrest comes with a lot of unpleasant legal consequences. Even if you only resisted arrest for a few moments, those few moments could have an impact for years to come. For those who have been accused of resisting arrest, the best course of action is to get legal advice from a licensed attorney.
What is resisting arrest? In New Jersey, it’s a straightforward definition: resisting arrest is taking any action that prevents a law officer from making an arrest. Most of the time, resisting arrest falls under the “disorderly persons” umbrella. However, it becomes a 3rd- or 4th-degree crime under certain circumstances. For example, when a person resists arrest by running away, that person has committed a 4th-degree crime. If this person threatens or causes harm to an officer while resisting arrest, he or she has committed a 3rd-degree crime.
Resisting arrest can result in heavy fines, depending on the type of offense committed. For a disorderly persons offense, you may pay up to $1,025 in combined fees and fines. For a 4th degree crime, that number could go all the way up to $10,000 plus additional restitution. The fine goes up the $15,000 for a 3rd-degree crime. Depending on your financial situation, you may owe money for years before you’re able to pay your fines in full.
Resisting arrest can mean a severe loss of time. People charged with resisting arrest have lost work and family hours because of jail time. How much jail time? It depends on the offense. For a disorderly persons offense, a person may spend up to 6 months in jail. If the offense becomes a crime, that number gets significantly higher. A 3rd degree crime, for example, can result in up to 5 years in jail. For some charges of resisting arrest, a person may lose time in the form of community service.
Finding an Attorney
If you’ve been accused of resisting arrest, look for an attorney who has successfully argued other resisting arrest cases. As an experienced and skilled defense attorney, Leon Matchin can provide legal counsel or help you build your case. Get your legal advice by calling 732-662-7658 or emailing [email protected].