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Hindering Apprehension or Prosecution

New Jersey Hindering Offenses

Criminal Attorney & Former Prosecutor

The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall is a NJ defense law firm which represents individuals on criminal charges statewide including Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Union County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Atlantic County, Somerset County, Morris County, Passaic County, Essex County, Hudson County and Bergen County. Our lawyers are experienced in defending individuals charged and arrested with hindering under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3. Please do not hesitate to contact our office as an attorney is available to speak to you immediately and initial consultations with a lawyer are without charge. We have provided the following information for your assistance in understanding the charge of hindering in New Jersey.

New Jersey Hindering Law

The NJ hindering statute, N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3 provides as follows:

2C:29-3. Hindering apprehension or prosecution

a. A person commits an offense if, with purpose to hinder the detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment of another for an offense or violation of Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes or a violation of chapter 33A of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes he:

(1) Harbors or conceals the other;

(2) Provides or aids in providing a weapon, money, transportation, disguise or other means of avoiding discovery or apprehension or effecting escape;

(3) Suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of the crime, or tampers with a witness, informant, document or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a charge against him;

(4) Warns the other of impending discovery or apprehension, except that this paragraph does not apply to a warning given in connection with an effort to bring another into compliance with law;

(5) Prevents or obstructs, by means of force, intimidation or deception, anyone from performing an act which might aid in the discovery or apprehension of such person or in the lodging of a charge against him;

(6) Aids such person to protect or expeditiously profit from an advantage derived from such crime; or

(7) Gives false information to a law enforcement officer or a civil State investigator assigned to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor established by section 32 of P.L.1998, c. 21 (C.17:33A-16).

The offense is a crime of the third degree if the conduct which the actor knows has been charged or is liable to be charged against the person aided would constitute a crime of the second degree or greater, unless the actor is a spouse, parent or child of the person aided, in which case the offense is a crime of the fourth degree. The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if such conduct would constitute a crime of the third degree. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

b. A person commits an offense if, with purpose to hinder his own detention, apprehension, investigation, prosecution, conviction or punishment for an offense or violation of Title 39 of the New Jersey Statutes or a violation of chapter 33A of Title 17 of the Revised Statutes, he:

(1) Suppresses, by way of concealment or destruction, any evidence of the crime or tampers with a document or other source of information, regardless of its admissibility in evidence, which might aid in his discovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge against him; or

(2) Prevents or obstructs by means of force or intimidation anyone from performing an act which might aid in his discovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge against him; or

(3) Prevents or obstructs by means of force, intimidation or deception any witness or informant from providing testimony or information, regardless of its admissibility, which might aid in his discovery or apprehension or in the lodging of a charge against him; or

(4) Gives false information to a law enforcement officer or a civil State investigator assigned to the Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor established by section 32 of P.L.1998, c. 21 (C.17:33A-16).

The offense is a crime of the third degree if the conduct which the actor knows has been charged or is liable to be charged against him would constitute a crime of the second degree or greater. The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if such conduct would constitute a crime of the third degree. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

Explanation of the NJ Hindering Law

N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3 sets forth seven types of conduct which constitute hindering: (1) harboring or concealing a person who is being sought by law enforcement; (2) aiding a suspect by providing a weapon, money, transportation, disguise or other means to avoid discovery or apprehension; (3) concealing, tampering or destroying evidence of a crime or information which would otherwise aid law enforcement; (4) warning the suspect of anticipated apprehension; (5) making threats, force, intimidation or deception to prevent or obstruct apprehension; (6) engaging in conduct to protect the profit or gain derived from the commission of a crime; or (7) giving false information to prevent, hinder or impede investigation or apprehension. Each of the aforesaid acts must be undertaken with the purpose to hinder in order for the related conduct to provide a basis for violation under N.J.S.A. 2C:29-3. The statute also requires that the suspect have knowledge that the person being protected was the target or actually charged with a crime, motor vehicle offense or insurance fraud.

The degree or grading of a hindering offense is predicated on the extent or seriousness of the underlying offense sought to be hindered and the relationship between the suspect and the person who is the target of the underlying offense. Where an individual is hindering to avoid a crime of the Second Degree or higher, the hindering is a third degree crime. An exception to this rule applies, however, where the target and the hinderer are spouses or enjoy a parental relationship. In this instance, the hindering is a Fourth Degree crime. Hindering is otherwise a disorderly persons offense.

The typical scenario for a hindering charge is where an individual is the subject of a traffic stop and identifies himself to police as someone else or provides other false information in hopes of avoiding an arrest; for example, the suspect has a outstanding warrant, has a suspended license or some other circumstance exists which would likely lead arrest if the accused identified himself properly.

If you are in need of representation for a hindering charge, our criminal defense lawyers are available to answer your questions and handle your defense. Please do not hesitate to contact our NJ law firm to schedule a free initial consultation with one of our attorneys. We are always happy to discuss a new case and handle hindering charges and arrests throughout New Jersey including Ocean County, Union County, Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Atlantic County, Mercer County, Burlington County, Morris County, Somerset County, Passaic County, Bergen County, Essex County and Hudson County. A lawyer from our office is accessible to address your concerns immediately. 

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The criminal defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John F. Marshall represent New Jersey adult and juvenile clients from offices in Shrewsbury, Cranford, Toms River, Jersey City and New Brunswick. We provide prompt and convenient client service to people in such communities as Newark, Plainfield, Freehold, Eatontown, East Brunswick, Edison, Woodbridge, Westfield, Clark, Rahway, Piscataway, Sayreville, Elizabeth, Middletown, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Jackson, Lakewood, Point Pleasant, Edison, Old Bridge, Aberdeen, Linden, Belmar, Eatontown, Hazlet, Holmdel, Ocean, Sea Bright, Hoboken, Weehawken, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Tinton Falls, Wall, Brick, Dover, Jackson, and other locations in Monmouth County, Middlesex County, Union County, Ocean County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Essex County, Hudson County and Morris County.

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