When a driver is stopped due to driving while intoxicated (DWI), a frequent problem that arises after an investigation has been done involves the driver resisting arrest. If you or a loved one has been charged with resisting arrest in New Jersey, it is vital that you speak with an experienced New Jersey criminal defense attorney. With extensive experience, we are committed to providing aggressive and effective DWI defense services every step of the way.
Last month, 48-year-old actor Vince Vaughn was arrested in California for a DUI and resisting arrest. Vaughn was stopped at a checkpoint in Hermosa Beach around 1 a.m. local time before being taken into custody. His passenger was also arrested for public intoxication. The news comes after the Manhattan Police Department announced that there would be DUI checkpoint over the weekend with a “zero tolerance” policy where any driver over the legal alcohol limit would be arrested.
In New Jersey, resisting arrest during a DWI stop can land you in serious trouble. The basic offense of a DWI in the state consists of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or higher. If you are under 21 years of age, you can be charged with a DWI for a BAC of 0.01 percent or higher.
As mentioned earlier, resisting arrest is a serious criminal offense in the state of New Jersey. It is important to note that you are not allowed to resist a lawful arrest, even if you genuinely believe that you are being subjected to a false arrest. Anyone who attempts to resist arrest may be charged with a Disorderly Persons offense. Penalties for disorderly persons offense can include jail sentences of up to six months and monetary fines of up to $1,000.
Deliberately preventing or trying to prevent a law enforcement officer from effecting an arrest is a 4th degree crime under N.J.S.A 2C:29-2(a)(2). For example, you could be charged with resisting arrest if you try to break loose or run away from a police officer while the officer is trying to arrest you. This crime may be punished with up to 18 months in prison and a monetary fine of up to $1,000.
Resisting arrest is heightened to a 3rd degree crime if you prevent arrest or try to prevent arrest by threatening a violent action or threatening to use physical force against another individual or a police officer, under N.J.S.A 2C:29-2(a)(3). In addition, you can be charged with this crime if you use any verbal or physical tactics to resist arrest that could create a significant risk of harm to a member of law enforcement or another individual. This can carry a penalty of three to five years in prison and a monetary fine of up to $15,000.
If you have been charged with resisting arrest during a DWI stop, you need a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney on your side. We understand that you may have made in a mistake in a state or panic, not realizing the consequences. Regardless, you will now need an attorney who can vigorously advocate for your rights and build the strongest defense possible in your case. Whether it is your first offense or a subsequent one, we can help. For a free case evaluation, please call us today at 877-450.8301 or contact us online.