Articles Posted in Eluding

In New Jersey, a person that purposefully evades the police can be charged with the crime of eluding, even if he or she did not commit any other crime. While generally eluding is a third-degree crime, it can become a second-degree offense under certain circumstances, as discussed in a recent New Jersey case in which the defendant argued that the jury was improperly instructed regarding the elements of the charge. If you are accused of eluding or any other crime, it is advisable to meet with a skilled New Jersey criminal defense attorney to discuss your options for seeking a just result.

History of the Case

It is reported that a police officer spotted the defendant driving a stolen vehicle, after which the officer activated the overhead lights of his police vehicle. The defendant began to slow down and pull over but then suddenly drove away rapidly. A chase through a residential neighborhood ensued, with the defendant driving erratically at high speeds. The defendant was ultimately stopped and arrested. He was cited for multiple traffic offenses, including reckless driving, and charged with the crimes of receiving stolen property and second-degree eluding. He was convicted of the criminal charges, after which he appealed, arguing that he was denied a fair trial because the jury was not properly instructed regarding the elements of a second-degree eluding offense.

Elements of a Second-Degree Eluding Offense

Under New Jersey law, a person operating a vehicle who intentionally flees or attempts to evade a police officer after the officer signals the person to bring the vehicle to a stop commits the crime of eluding, which is a third-degree offense. Eluding becomes a second-degree offense, however, if the evasion or attempted flight from the police creates a risk of injury or death to any person.

Continue Reading ›

In criminal trials, the State is limited as to the evidence it may introduce in support of the allegation that a defendant committed a crime. Specifically, the State generally cannot introduce evidence of prior criminal activity or wrongful acts to prove that a defendant committed the offense with which he or she is currently charged, as it has the potential to lead to unjust results. Recently, a New Jersey appellate court discussed the ramifications of improper prior bad acts evidence and when the admission of such evidence warrants the reversal of a conviction in a case in which the defendant was charged with eluding the police.  If you are charged with eluding, it is in your best interest to speak to a seasoned New Jersey criminal defense attorney regarding what evidence the State may introduce against you.

Factual and Procedural History

It is reported that police officers were dispatched to investigate a report that a convenience store had been robbed at gunpoint by a suspect who drove off in a white car. While patrolling the area where the incident allegedly occurred, an officer observed the defendant driving a vehicle that matched the description of the suspect’s vehicle. The officer activated his sirens and lights and followed the defendant for a mile and a half, during which the defendant drove twenty-five miles over the speed limit, veered onto the sidewalk, and crashed into poles. The defendant ultimately crashed into a pole and stopped.

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with eluding the police. A four-day trial was held during which the State introduced into evidence three summons that were previously issued to the defendant, involving reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and operation of a vehicle without a license. The defendant did not object to the admission of the summons and was ultimately convicted. He then appealed.

Continue Reading ›

Contact Information