Criminal Charges at Newark Airport

newark airport road sign

Each day thousands of passengers pass through Newark Liberty International Airport, one of the three major international airports serving the greater New York City area, on their way to and from destinations worldwide. With such high traffic, Newark Airport also sees its share of crime and offenses like drug possession and traffickingassaultdisorderly conductunlawful possession of a weapon, and resisting arrest.

Interestingly, Newark Airport is situated in both Elizabeth, New Jersey, located in Union County, and in Newark, New Jersey, located in Essex County. Due to its position in two separate counties, if you are arrested on Newark Airport property, the county in which your case will be handled depends on which terminal you are arrested in.

What Police Department Has Jurisdiction Over Newark Airport?

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police (PANYNJ), also known as the Port Authority Police Department (PAPD), has jurisdiction over Newark Airport, as well as the other two major airports in the New York City area—JFK and LaGuardia. The Port Authority Police are a bi-state agency and are responsible for policing all areas of Newark Airport. If someone makes a complaint about an incident on Newark Airport property or a situation calls for police involvement, the PAPD will respond.

What Happens if I Am Arrested in Newark Airport Terminal A?

Terminal A handles flights operated by Air Canada, Air China, Alaska Air, American Airlines, British Airways, El Al Israel Airlines, Emirates, JetBlue Airways, Korean Airways, Lufthansa, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United, and all other non-United domestic flights.

Terminal A is the section of Newark Airport that is actually located in Elizabeth, New Jersey in Union County. If you are arrested in Terminal A by a PAPD officer, you will be taken into PAPD custody and processed or “booked” on airport property.

During this process, PAPD will take all of your identifying information and seize your personal belongings. You will be held in a holding cell on airport property, until you are transferred into the custody of the Department of Corrections and taken to Union County Jail, located at 15 Elizabethtown Plaza in Elizabeth, NJ. You will see a judge via video teleconference equipment the following morning or on Monday morning, if you are arrested on the weekend.

Where your case will be heard depends on what offense you are charged with. If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense, your case will be heard at Elizabeth Municipal Court at 208 Commerce Place in Elizabeth, NJ. Indictable offense cases—fourth, third, second, and first degree crimes—will be heard at the Union County Superior Court before a Superior Court judge at 2 Broad Street in Elizabeth.

I Was Arrested in Another Terminal at Newark Airport, What Happens Next?

Terminal B and Terminal C handle most of the Newark Airports international flights for airlines like Aer Lingus, Aero Mexico, Air France, Air India, Air New Zealand, Allegiant Air. Asiana Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, Azul, Brussels Airlines, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Icelandair, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Norwegian Air. Primera Air, SAS Scandinavian Airlines, SWISS, Virgin Atlantic, WOW Air, and all flights that must pass through immigration that were not previously inspected through pre-clearance.

If you are arrested in Terminal B or Terminal C, which are both located in Newark, you will be booked by PAPD on airport property and then transferred to Essex County Correctional Facility, located at 354 Doremus Avenue in Newark, New Jersey. You will appear before a judge to hear the charges against you the following morning or on Monday morning. If the prosecutor files a motion for detention in your case, you will also have a detention hearing to determine if you should be detained while you wait for your trial.

If you are charged with a disorderly persons offense, which is like a misdemeanor in other states, your case will be heard by a municipal court judge at Newark Municipal Court at 31 Green Street in Newark, NJ. If you are charged with an indictable offense, which is equivalent to a felony offense in other states and carries the potential of up to one year in prison, your case will be heard at Essex County Superior Court, located at 50 W. Market Street in Newark.

Stopped at Newark Airport With a Warrant for My Arrest

If you are stopped at Newark Airport and law enforcement discovers there is a warrant for your arrest, then you will be held by PAPD in a holding cell on airport property and the police in the municipality where the warrant was issued will be contacted to come to Newark Airport and pick you up.

Arrested at Newark Airport?

If you are arrested at the airport in Newark, New Jersey, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as you possibly can. Remember that, as always, you have a right not to answer the questions of the PAPD and you should decline to answer any questions without your lawyer present. Call the local criminal defense lawyers at William Proetta Criminal Law at our Union County office for a free consultation of your case. We can be reached anytime at (908) 838-0150 to assist you or fill out our convenient online form.

With more than a decade of experience defending clients against criminal charges, founding partner William A. Proetta has successfully handled and tried thousands of cases, from DWI to murder. As a New Jersey native, he has focused his career on helping people in the area where he grew up, serving Middlesex, Ocean, Hudson, and Union counties.