New Jersey officials have fundamentally altered the state’s official policy on stun gun use by law enforcement. The policy changes were recently announced by Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman, who indicated that the new guidelines would provide police officers with clearer direction on how to use the devices as “a lifesaving alternative” during potentially dangerous and violent encounters with criminal suspects.
The changes were implemented after NJ lawmakers and other officials conducted a thorough study of all of the incidents in which New Jersey police officers have had to use stun guns in recent years.
In addition to studying the effects of using stun guns, the officials in charge of determining whether to implement the policy changes also received input from community leaders and law enforcement agencies throughout New Jersey.
The policy changes give police officers wider latitude when it comes to deploying stun guns in potentially deadly situations. Whereas the old policy prohibited police from using stun guns unless doing so was considered reasonably necessary to prevent a suspect from causing death or serious bodily injury while resisting arrest, the new policy allows officers to use stun guns so long as they believe that the suspect is creating “a substantial risk of causing bodily injury.”
The distinction between “serious bodily injury” and “bodily injury” may seem like a minor one, but it is significant insofar as it could result in NJ police not being reluctant to use stun guns in order to protect themselves and others when a suspect is resisting arrest.
For additional information about the NJ policy on stun gun use by law enforcement, view the Bergen Dispatch article, “NJ Attorney General Announces Revised Policy on Use of Stun Guns as Alternative to Deadly Force.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested for resisting arrest, aggravated assault, simple assault or any other criminal offense in New Jersey, the aggressive criminal defense lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi, P.A. can help you fight your criminal charges. Contact us now for a free consultation today.