While driving your car in New Jersey, you see the police and because of the speed you are driving (or any other MV violation you may have committed) you think ‘Oh no, I don’t want a ticket’, so when the police signal you to stop (you know…when they pull up behind you, turn on their emergency lights and siren…) you speed up and try to outrun them, drive the wrong way down a one-way street, or cut across lanes of traffic to get to an exit ramp. Dumb move. You just went from getting a traffic ticket and then going on with your life, to being arrested, placed into custody, and being charged with ‘eluding’, a 2nd degree crime that has a sentencing range of 5-10 years and a presumption of incarceration.
As the driver of the car, you are presumed to have control of the vehicle. That includes being responsible for the speed at which you are driving; the lane you are in; the reckless, careless or unsafe operation of the vehicle; and, any other type of violation you commit while operating the car. You. Not the passenger (not even the proverbial back-seat driving Mother-in-law passenger); not the person you were racing down the road or trying to keep from cutting in front of you; and, not your spouse, boss or friend you were arguing with on the phone.
Use your common sense: When the police signal you to stop, you are required to slow down; move to the right if possible to do so safely; stop the vehicle in an area off the roadway; and, wait for the officer to approach you and tell you what they want. Be prepared to have your license, vehicle registration and insurance card for the officer. Keep your hands in sight. Tell everyone else to stop talking and turn off the radio. Do not hold your cell phone in your hand to ‘record’ what happens, you are operating a motor vehicle! Leave your seat-belt ON. Otherwise, in addition to getting the ticket for why you were being stopped, you will also get one for DWT (Driving While Talking – Use of Cell Phone While Driving); and, for Failure to Wear Seat-belt.
So…you say that the person who had the car and did this was someone else? Not a problem, right?…because you can prove that you were someplace else. Unfortunately, No, not if the car was registered in your name, because you are presumed by the law of N.J. to know who had your car and once you tell them who had it the cops will be happy to take a statement from you, and then go charge that other person with eluding and all the traffic tickets they were about to issue to you. But you ask, what if I don’t want to ‘rat out’ that other person because you don’t want them to get in trouble. This is akin to being between a rock and a hard place. You get to ‘pick your poison’. You can wear it yourself, or give up the person who actually did it. Somebody is going to be charged, and the consequences for eluding even on a plea deal may involve a mandatory prison sentence and a lengthy loss of driving privileges.
On the other hand, if it was you that decided to try to ‘get away’? What were you thinking? While some cars are faster than others, none can outrun a radio transmission by the cop following you. That’s called ‘back up’ and with your known route of travel, its called a ‘roadblock’. Even if you do somehow manage to get away, if the car is registered to you and the cops saw your plate, they can run it and have someone waiting for you when you get home. And in all cases, all of your actions in ‘not stopping’ for a simple speeding or other MV ticket are used to establish the continued serious risk you put yourself, the cops, and the general public in, as well as ‘consciousness of guilt’ when you are prosecuted in Superior Court for the eluding. The best thing you can do, is simple…stop the car and get ready to explain why you were doing what you were doing…and be polite, maybe the cop will decide you had a good reason to violate the MV laws and cut you a break. Then you don’t need to meet a criminal defense lawyer like me.
#eluding #trafficticket #criminaldefense
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No attorney-client relationship is intended, offered or established by this information, even if it is similar in nature to a situation you are facing. Should you be confronted with a criminal prosecution or investigation, you are strongly advised to consult immediately with an experienced criminal defense lawyer licensed in the State or jurisdiction where the charges are filed, with whom you will have an attorney-client relationship, and can obtain legal advice on how to best handle your issues. This direct consultation should be done before you make any decisions in regards to your legal issue.