State Trooper Pleas to Disorderly Person Offense
New Jersey State Trooper Alexis Hayes pled guilty to a disorderly person offense in connection to charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and disorderly person offense after a police visit to her home in response to a domestic disturbance call in 2010. The officers responding to the 2:00 am call heard an argument and entered the home after they heard an argument. After the officers entered the home, a fight started between Trooper Hayes and the responding officers. Hayes was accused of punching and kicking Sgt. John Gregory while he was attempting to arrest her.
On June 18, Hayes pled guilty to a disorderly person offense in connection with the 2010 incident. As part of her plea, she will no longer able to hold a law enforcement position in New Jersey. In addition Hayes was fired from her position as a State Trooper because of the criminal charges against her.
Forfeiture of Public Office or Employment
N.J.S.A. 2C:51-2 provides that any person who holds a public office, position, or employment shall forfeit such office if convicted of certain offenses. A conviction of a crime of the third degree or greater, such as the original charge of third degree Resisting Arrest would automatically result in forfeiture. In addition, any offense “involving dishonesty” or “involving or touching such office” shall result in loss of the position. That would include even a disorderly persons offense as plead in this case. Lastly, this statute also would require a permanent bar from public employment as ordered in this case, if the offense “involved or touched upon the office”.
Resisting Arrest in New Jersey
A person is guilty of resisting arrest in New Jersey, as defined under N.J.S.A. 2C: 29-2 of the NJ Code of Criminal Justice, when they “purposefully prevent or attempt to prevent a law enforcement officer from effectuating an arrest”. The offense is graded based upon the level of resistance. Simply trying to prevent an officer from making an arrest is a disorderly person offense. However, the use or threatened use of physical force elevates the offense to a crime in the third degree.
Disorderly person offenses in New Jersey are considered less serious than indictable offenses or “crimes.” As such a conviction of a disorderly person offense does not carry all the negative stigma and consequences of a “crime.” A disorderly person offense may be expunged from a defendant’s record after 5 years, whereas a defendant must generally wait 10 years to expunge a criminal conviction. However, disorderly person offenses are still criminal offenses that remain on a record unless expunged and can carry potential penalties of up to 6 months in jail, fines, probation, and even a suspended driver’s license.
Help with Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Resisting arrest and disorderly person offenses are serious offenses that can carry serious consequences for anyone charged with them. However, with effective legal representation and advocacy, a defendant can manage the charges alleged against them and potentially plead down to a lesser offense.
However, to successfully work within the confines of the legal system and obtain an advantageous plea bargain it is important to retain a local Burlington County criminal defense attorney at an early stage in the proceedings against you. Your personal attorney will be able to negotiate on your behalf with the prosecution and work to obtain the best deal possible if you feel that a plea is in your best interest. It is important to remember that your attorney advocates and works on your behalf to obtain the best outcome possible based on the particular facts of your individual case.
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