Monmouth County Eluding Lawyers

Advocating for Clients in Belmar, Red Bank, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Neptune, and More 

Eluding Defense Lawyers in Monmouth County NJNew Jersey officers are charged with ensuring the safety of the state’s citizens and occupants. To do so, cooperation on the part of everyone is required. Especially when it comes to traffic stops, officers prioritize the safety of those involved and all motorists. When an officer signals a vehicle to pull over, and the motorist does not do so, they are causing a dangerous situation for themselves and others on the road. They are also committing a crime called eluding an officer. Read on to learn more about the eluding charge, how it is proven in court, and why it’s important to seek the zealous advocacy of a criminal defense attorney to represent you if you’ve been charged with eluding.

Reach out to an experienced Monmouth County criminal defense lawyer immediately after being charged with eluding in Middletown, Freehold, Wall, Manasquan, Holmdel, Colts Neck, Manalapan, and elsewhere in Southern New Jersey. To review your eluding charges and the possible penalties you may face, contact Chamlin, Uliano, & Walsh. We are experienced in helping people charged with this and other serious offenses since 1960. Call our office in West Long Branch today at (732) 440-3950, and a member of our staff will help you right up. Whether you want to speak to a legal professional about your best options, have someone you love in custody and are worried about how to handle their detention hearing, or need to know what happens in the process of your eluding case in Monmouth County Superior Court, we can help. Contact us today to set up a initial consultation with one of our lawyers.

NJ Eluding: The Statute

New Jersey Revised Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2 outlines the serious charge of eluding. According to the Statute, eluding is retreating from a police officer in one’s own automobile after having received a signal from the officer to safely pull over and stop, or resisting arrest using a motor vehicle.

N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2 addresses both the offenses of resisting arrest and eluding an officer, which is fleeing an officer in a vehicle. While a person might resist arrest by eluding an officer, eluding is not on its face resisting arrest. It is simply the manner by which a motorist fails to respond to an officer’s request to pull over.

Elements to Prove Eluding Charges in Court

When it comes to the charge of eluding an officer, the burden of proof lies with the prosecutor. In order to prove eluding charges, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused was operating a motor vehicle, that they were on a public street or highway, that they were both signaled by a law enforcement officer, and were aware of the signal and of the person as an officer (to whom they must legally respond); and that they failed to stop or pull over.

Understanding the Concept of Inference of Operation by a Vehicle’s Owner

A prosecutor may prove that the accused was operating their motor vehicle by inference. Inference is not direct evidence. In the absence of the availability of direct evidence, logic and observation may be used to reach the reasonable conclusion that the owner of the vehicle was operating it in an attempt to elude law enforcement. For example, if law enforcement attempts to pull over a vehicle for speeding and they do not stop, and upon locating the car with the correct license plate it is found parked and abandoned, officers can infer that the owner of the vehicle was the person driving when the instance of speeding and eluding officers occurred.

Grades and Penalties for Eluding Offenses in New Jersey

Eluding is a very serious offense. According to New Jersey law, such a charge of eluding a law enforcement officer in one’s vehicle is a third-degree felony offense, with penalties of up to three to five years in jail and up to $15,000 in fines. A convicted offender also will likely have their driver’s license suspended for up to two years.

The severity of the crime is greatly increased when, in the process of eluding a law enforcement agent, the offender puts another’s life or safety at risk due to reckless driving behavior. Causing danger of death or severe injury to another while eluding an officer is a second-degree felony offense. In such a case, the penalties skyrocket to five to ten years in jail and up to $150,000 in fines. What makes a second-degree eluding crime particularly condemnatory is that a first-time offender loses their potential eligibility for the pretrial intervention program, by which the possible penalties and impact on one’s criminal record might be reduced in severity. This is not to say that PTI is an impossibility in these situations, as probation and alternatives to jail time might be negotiated by an experienced criminal law attorney and special permission to apply for pretrial intervention obtained due to compelling arguments on a defendant’s behalf.

Grades and Penalties for Eluding Offenses in Long Branch NJState v. Mendez, Teachings from a Previous Case

In Washington state, State v. Mendez explored law enforcement’s legal right to dictate the actions of passengers in a car, either ordering them to remain in the car or ordering them to remain on the scene. In a judgment delivered by the Appeals Court, citing numerous national rulings, it was determined that when a law enforcement agent deems a traffic stop appropriate and instructs the driver to pull over – directing that the driver remains in the vehicle – the passengers of the car are not subject to such direction to remain in the car or on the scene unless it is for safety reasons or there is articulable evidence that they are obstructing the officer’s investigation or posing a threat. Otherwise, detainment of such a passenger is considered illegal under U.S. Constitutional Law

Call Our West Long Branch Eluding Attorneys to Schedule a Meeting or a Consultation

Eluding an officer in a motor vehicle is a very serious offense.  In terms of its complexity among crimes in New Jersey law, there are nuances to an eluding charge that can mean the difference between acquittal and prison time. With thousands of dollars and years in jail on the line, talking to an eluding defense attorney about your case, having the facts and evidence combed through by a professional, and deciding with confidence and informed guidance how best to proceed with your defense, should be a top priority. A skilled and knowledgeable criminal lawyer can be critical if you are charged with any criminal or traffic offense, much less a felony crime of the second or third degree like eluding. Do not take it lightly.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for eluding an officer in Monmouth County, get in touch with us as soon as possible. Our team at Chamlin, Uliano, & Walsh has decades of experience defending individuals in some of the most challenging criminal and traffic cases in Hazlet, Rumson, Tinton Falls, Keansburg, Lincroft, Eatontown, and throughout Southern New Jersey, fighting to protect their rights when it comes to alleged offenses on and off the road. Contact us at (732) 440-3950 to schedule a confidential consultation today.