When an individual interferes with an arrest from law enforcement, it is considered resisting arrest. For those facing arrest, it may feel natural to try to flee; however, this reaction can lead to serious problems, including fines, incarceration, or even fatalities. Those charged with resisting arrest should note that there are possible defenses; therefore, it is important to contact a lawyer if one is facing such charges.
When a person attempts to fight or flee from an arrest, this could lead to a variety of consequences. The exact penalties for resisting arrest depends on if the person tried to flee, if they used force, or if they hurt or killed anyone. Each charge has varying levels of punishments, therefore, it is important for charged individuals to identify which degree the crime falls under.
An individual who resists an arrest without fleeing is likely to obtain a disorderly persons offense in the state of New Jersey. However, if the individual attempts to flee, it is considered a fourth-degree charge. A disorderly persons offense is punishable by six months in jail, however, a fourth degree charge is punishable by 18 months in jail. It is important to avoid fleeing an arrest, even if the arrest seems to be a mistake.
If the individual uses force or threatens to use force during an arrest, they can receive a third-degree charge. This charge is punishable by up to five years in jail. Furthermore, if the individual succeeds in injuring or even killing a bystander or law enforcement officer, they will face a second-degree charge; this is a charge that is punishable by up to 10 years in jail.
What are the Possible Defenses for Resisting Arrest?
Despite the severity of these charges, an experienced lawyer can help develop a strong defense. There are several strategies to defend this crime, including claiming unlawful arrest or self-defense.
If the victim states that the arrest was unlawful, they claim that the law enforcement officer made an arrest without a warrant or probable cause. It is important to note that an individual can only resist an unlawful arrest to a degree that is considered reasonable. Therefore, if they flee, threaten an officer, or injure or kill someone, this defense will likely not be enough.
The other available defense strategy is claiming that the convicted individual practiced self-defense. This is typically used in cases involving police brutality or when a law enforcement officer is using excessive force during an arrest. This is especially valid if the officer tries to use their weapon without probable cause.
Constructing a strong defense is important after facing consequences for resisting arrest. A lawyer who is knowledgeable about criminal law will be able to build a case and protect their client.
Haddonfield Criminal Defense Lawyers at Agre & St. John Protect Clients Against Charges After Resisting Arrest
If you are facing criminal charges for resisting arrest, you need to consult one of our respected Haddonfield criminal defense lawyers at Agre & St. John. Our lawyers build strong defenses for clients so that they can avoid penalties or jail time. For an initial consultation today, contact us online or call us at 856-428-7797. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County.