Resisting arrest can have dire consequences in the state of New Jersey. The charges, which can be applied in a number of scenarios, carry up to five years in prison under some circumstances, among other penalties.
If police have accused you of resisting arrest, it’s natural to fear for your future. Regardless of what the prosecutor leads you to believe, however, you still have certain rights, and you ought to assert them over the course of the proceedings.
Here are some of the most important rights to keep in mind when facing charges for resisting arrest:
1. The Right to Remain Silent
You have probably heard police on television recite the Miranda warning, which informs suspects that anything they say can and will be used against them in a court of law. Even if you merely want to explain yourself, it’s best to refrain from doing so. At the end of the day, there’s no way to be sure how your statements could be misconstrued to paint you in a negative light before the judge.
Instead, it’s wise to exercise your right to remain silent to avoid jeopardizing your defense inadvertently. You are not obligated to speak to police officers or the prosecutor about the details of your case, and you generally shouldn’t.
While you may need to address administrative details, like an upcoming court date, you do not have to discuss what happened. Should you attempt to explain yourself and end up uttering anything that turns out to be inconsistent with other accounts, the prosecutor will have reason to challenge the credibility of your entire defense.
2. The Right to Speak with a Lawyer
After evaluating the situation, a seasoned attorney can help you determine how best to proceed. Your legal team will investigate the incident, devise an applicable defense, and compile the evidence needed to present your case. They will also handle all correspondence with the prosecutor and other law enforcement personnel, so you don’t have to worry about saying something that ends up hurting your defense.
3. The Right to Review Evidence Against You
Like other defendants, those who have been accused of resisting arrest are entitled to see the evidence that the prosecutor plans on presenting against them. This might include footage from body and/or dash cams, eyewitness testimony, photographs, surveillance recordings, and police reports.
While such evidence won’t reveal everything about the prosecutor’s strategy, it will at least let your legal team know in which direction they intend to take the case. This information alone will prove incredibly valuable when building your defense.
Speak with a Morristown Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been accused of resisting arrest, turn to The Law Offices of Joseph S. Scura for help asserting your rights. Attorney Scura was named among the “Top 40 Under 40” by National Trial Lawyers and the American Society of Legal Advocates.
When you turn to him for legal counsel, you can count on getting personalized guidance from a tireless professional. To schedule your free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer in Morristown, fill out our Contact Form or call 973-832-0841.