Legal Counsel During
Your Most Important Issues

Eluding charges: What happens if you drive off from a traffic stop?

All it takes is a simple misunderstanding about your rights or a momentary panic that causes a lapse and judgment, and an ordinary traffic stop could turn into a felony charge.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-2, driving away from the police can lead to charges of resisting an arrest or eluding the police. 

How serious of an offense is eluding?

Eluding an officer to circumvent traffic charges (or arrest for some other reason) is treated very seriously. It’s a third-degree offense that can be punished with fines up to $15,000 and between three and five years in prison. 

The situation can worsen, however, if you create a situation where there is a substantial risk of injury or death to another person. This might shoving an officer to the ground, throwing a punch or anything similar to make your escape. It could also include recklessly speeding away and causing a high-speed chase. That can up the charge to a second-degree offense, which means that you could face $150,000 in fines and between five and 10 years in prison.

Unfortunately, eluding and resisting arrest are seldom charged alone. They are usually added to any related charges arising from the initial traffic stop, such as drunk driving, drug offenses, obstruction of justice or disorderly conduct.

People make mistakes all the time – and sometimes they compound them by piling one mistake on top of another. That doesn’t mean, however, that your case is hopeless. Learning more about your defense options if you’re charged with eluding can help you find a path forward and get your life back on track.



FindLaw Network
ABA | American Bar Association
Rated By Super Lawyers Peter G. Aziz
New Jersey State Bar Association 1899