Several New Jersey lawmakers have introduced legislation that would strengthen penalties against people who assault correctional officers and other law enforcement officers — and require them to be tested for communicable diseases if they do so with bodily fluids.
Assaulting a law enforcement officer, under current law, is a third-degree crime if the officer is injured and a fourth-degree crime if there’s no injury. The maximum penalties offenders face are 18 months behind bars for a fourth-degree conviction and five years for a third-degree conviction.
Under a bipartisan bill introduced earlier this fall, assaulting an officer would become a second-degree crime and carry a mandatory minimum penalty of five years in prison, with the accused barred from pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Second-degree crimes are punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $150,000, or both.
If the assault involved bodily fluids, the alleged assailant would be required to provide a blood or other biological sample to be tested for communicable diseases, and the results would be shared with the assault victim.
When you are encountered by law enforcement officers
Be calm, cooperate, and, most importantly, never accept guilt. You have the right to remain silent. Even if they arrest you, you remain calm and ask for a lawyer.
If you are pulled over by a police officer, cooperate when he asks for your driver’s license, medical certificate, logbook, and vehicle registration. Anything beyond what you say could later be used in court against you, so be mindful of anything you say. Remember that you have the right to remain silent. Never try to bribe the officer; it will prove your guilt, and you may be in bigger trouble.
Why remain silent?
You have the constitutional right to remain silent. In general, you do not have to talk to law enforcement officers (or anyone else), even if you do not feel free to walk away from the officer, you are arrested, or you are in jail. You cannot be punished for refusing to answer a question. It is a good idea to talk to a lawyer before agreeing to answer questions. In general, only a judge can order you to answer questions.
You have the constitutional right to talk to a lawyer before answering questions, whether or not the police tell you about that right. The lawyer’s job is to protect your rights. Once you say that you want to talk to a lawyer, officers should stop asking you questions. If they continue to ask questions, you still have the right to remain silent. If you do not have a lawyer, you may still tell the officer you want to speak to one before answering questions. If you do have a lawyer, keep his or her business card with you. Show it to the officer, and ask to call your lawyer. Remember to get the name, agency and telephone number of any law enforcement officer who stops or visits you, and give that information to your lawyer.
You need an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Ask for a lawyer before answering questions asked by a law enforcement officer, whether or not the police tell you about that right. You need an experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer to protect your rights.
For years, attorney Joel Silberman served as an assistant prosecutor with the Hudson County prosecutor’s office. During this time, Attorney Joel litigated hundreds of cases and appeared before the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, on multiple occasions.
If you have been wrongfully charged in a criminal case, the Law Offices of Joel Silberman, LLC, can help you pursue the justice you deserve. You need to act fast. Call us at 201-420-1913 or email us at email@example.com.