The first reaction most people have when they see those overhead lights flashing in their rear view mirror is: "Oh, no! What did I do? How much is THIS going to cost me?" Fortunately, the second reaction for most people here in New Jersey is to pull over at the first opportunity.
Unfortunately, however, that was not the reaction of a Sicklerville resident when a Monroe Township officer signaled for him to pull over. Instead, he chose to speed for several miles to try and get away, despite the officer's lights and sirens. Even after stopping, he got out of the car and ran! Ultimately, he was caught and charged with careless driving, DWI, and eluding.
So What's the Big Deal About Eluding?
Under New Jersey law, eluding the police under these circumstances is an indictable crime of the third (and sometimes second) degree - our version of a felony. Someone who does it faces some stiff penalties, including jail time, heavy fines, and suspension of their driver's license!
In this case, the entire matter was tried in the Criminal Division of the Superior Court in Woodbury, and the jury took only minutes to find him guilty of the eluding charge. The judge issued a not guilty verdict on the DWI charge and a guilty verdict on the careless driving.
And the Moral of the Story is . . .
The lesson to be learned here is rather obvious. If this guy had just pulled over when he was told, he would have been convicted of careless driving, gotten 2 points on his license, paid a fine of about $100 or so, and $33 court costs!
There is no upside to trying to get away. Just pull over and deal with it. Don't make a relatively small matter much worse!
If you have received a ticket in the Gloucester County, New Jersey, area please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site to schedule an appointment for a free consultation in my Woodbury office. If you are out of state or out of the area, this can be done by phone.
If you are looking for more information on New Jersey's traffic laws, then download my free book, A Guide to Driving Legally in NJ, and Surviving Traffic Court If You Don't.