The New Jersey criminal charge of attempting to disarm a police officer is set forth at N.J.S.A. 2C:12-11. Often times, defendants facing this offense think they were acting in self-defense and possessed justification under the law to grab the officer’s gun. The truth is, however, that there is no legal basis in New Jersey to fight with police over their weapon. A conviction for disarming under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-11 is a second degree crime. However, the offense can escalate to a first degree crime if certain facts are present. If you are facing either grade of attempting to disarm a law enforcement officer, you are exposed to a minimum of five (5) years in prison and, for this reason, it is in your best interest to seek sound legal counsel. The attorneys at our firm, The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall encompass one of the largest and most experienced criminal defense teams in the state. We have been representing defendant’s charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, burglary, eluding, carjacking and robbery in Passaic County for over a decade. Our office regularly appears in the Passaic County Superior Court as well as local Municipal Courts including Wayne, Prospect Park, Ringwood, Woodland Park, Totowa and Hawthorne. A lawyer is available 24/7 to assist you at 862-203-4070.
Passaic City NJ Disarming a Police Officer Attorneys
How Does the State Prove Disarming a Police Officer?
For the State to convict someone of disarming a police officer, they must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant knowingly;
- Took or attempted to exercise unlawful control over a firearm or other weapon in the possession of a law enforcement or corrections officer;
- While that officer is acting in the performance of his duties; and
- That officer is either in uniform or exhibits evidence of his authority.
Under N.J.S.A. 2C:12-11, a “weapon” means anything capable of lethal use or of inflicting serious bodily injury. Also, disarming a police officer can occur without the defendant gaining actual possession of the weapon. All that is required for this offense to occur is for the accused to attempt to exercise control.
When is Disarming a Police Officer a First Degree Crime?
If the above circumstances are present, then the defendant will be guilty disarming in the second degree. However, as mentioned above, these charges will enhance to a crime of the first degree if any of the following scenarios occur in addition to the prior disarming:
- The person fires or discharges the firearm;
- The person uses or threatens to use the firearm or weapon against the officer or any other person; or
- The officer or another person suffers serious bodily injury.
“Serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.
What are the Penalties For Disarming a Police Officer?
If the defendant is convicted of disarming a police officer in the first degree, they will face up to twenty (20) years in prison and a $200,000 fine. Moreover, this crime will be subject the the No Early Release Act (NERA), meaning that the defendant will have to serve 85% of the sentence before becoming parole eligible. If the defendant is convicted of disarming a police officer in the second degree, they will face up to ten (10) years in prison and a $150,000 fine.
Clifton NJ Disarming a Police Officer Lawyer
As you can see, an indictment for attempting to disarm a police officer carries very severe consequences. The best option for eliminating and/or reducing these potential ramifications is to retain the most experienced attorney you can afford. We believe that our law firm presents a good option in this regard. Give us a call for immediate assistance at 862-203-4070.