It is generally unlawful to resist any lawful command given by an officer in New Jersey or any other state. A person may be resisting if he or she refuses to be taken into custody or makes it harder for an officer to take another person into custody. In some cases, an individual may be resisting if he or she is not complying with an officer's command quickly enough.
However, failing to take action immediately doesn't necessarily mean that an individual did anything wrong. Typically, to be charged with resisting an officer, it must be shown that a person knew that he or she was disobeying a law enforcement official. Furthermore, it must be shown that the officer was acting in a reasonable manner and that whoever was being taken into custody intentionally interfered with the effort to do so.
Those who physically struggle with an officer or try to attack an officer attempting to take them into custody are generally considered to be resisting. The same may be true if a person provides authorities with a fake name or address. Penalties for resisting an attempt to be taken into custody could include jail time, a fine and probation. Individuals may be sentenced to prison time if convicted of a felony count of interfering with a police investigation.
Those who have been charged with misdemeanor crimes such as resisting efforts to be taken into custody may be entitled to an attorney. An attorney may be able to prevent a person from speaking with authorities or taking other actions that may inadvertently undermine their cases. An attorney may also be able to help a defendant get a case dismissed by asserting that an officer acted in an unlawful manner when attempting to take a person into custody.