I have a question regarding road rage in new jersey.
What is your question?
Hi, while I was driving along this road today someone pulled out in front of me but I had to step on my brakes hard to avoid hitting the car. I was close to the car because it came out suddenly. So I honked on my horn and the driver in front started to brake on purpose in an attempt to get me to hit her. I honked more and someone from the passenger side threw a paper cup at my car. So at the next light, the lady gets out and starts yelling at me. At this point, the male passenger jumps out and proceeds to run towards me in a threatening manner (I'm still in the car). Seeing as he was about to attack me, I draw an object to protect myself. He never hit or reached into the car. I never went out. Lady takes down my license plate no. and calls the police to file a complaint. (Please bear with me, I want to be as detailed as possible)
So, did you hear anything from the police?
So yes, the police comes over to my residence and I tell them the details. They then ask if I was holding a sharp object and I told them I was holding a pen in self defense (Lady claims I pulled a knife to threaten them). They proceed to search my car and found nothing. They said they will review video at the intersection and will arrest me for lying to them if they found evidence of me holding a knife. As the police are leaving one of them starts to say this will probably go nowhere as its my words against the accuser's. I just want to know what might happen next and what my rights are. Will the accuser get a hold of my address and information? And if they file a complaint, will their address be revealed to me?
I do not think you can get in trouble on those facts. The police is right. In order to convict you, the DA would have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that 1) you were holding the knife, and 2) you were not doing so within the limits of permissible self-defense. The only evidence they have is the lady's words. No knife was found in your car (I assume you might have given voluntary permission to have it searched if the police didn't have the warrant). No other witnesses. If you don't have any criminal record now, this is even better. So, you held a pen in your self-defense, this is not illegal. If there is no video at the intersection of you holding a knife, the police will probably contact you again to iron out some details and that should be the end of it. The accusers can find your address by your license plate through one of those online public record search companies, if they really want to.
Thanks for the reply. Just a final question for my reference. Is it illegal to possess a knife or similar weapon in the car in the state of NJ? And would it be illegal to brandish it in self defense without stepping out to provoke a fight?
Yes, you can possess a knife in your car unless this is done for illegal purposes or it is smth like a gravity knife, switchblade, dagger, dirk, stiletto, or ballistic knife "without any explainable lawful purpose."Even if there was clear evidence that you were holding the knife, the prosecution would still have to prove that you were not doing it in self-defense. Limits of permissible self-defense are determined on a case-by-case basis depending on whether you really believed you were in danger. You were sitting in your own car and strangers went after you after some heated road incidence. Sounds like self-defense to me, unless the lady was really small and you are a huge football player.
Thank you very much for answering my questions. Will definitely come back to you in the future if necessary.
You're welcome. In the future, you can request me by starting your question with "For Traffic77777" or by entering it directly through my profile: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-traffic7777/Good luck!
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