A charge for resisting arrest is a serious offense. In fact, the penalty for this charge may be far more severe than the penalty for the offense that was the cause of the arrest.
Here are some examples of resisting arrest as well as potential consequences. In most situations, defending this type of charge may prove difficult. However, there are some limited circumstances in which a court may dismiss the charge.
What is resisting arrest?
A person who physically assaults an officer during an arrest will almost certainly face a criminal charge for resisting arrest. Attempting to flee an arrest may also result in a charge. Expressing objection to an arresting officer usually does not constitute resistance unless the objections are loud, profane, or threatening
What are possible penalties?
Typically, an act of resistance that endangers an officer’s safety could lead to a second degree misdemeanor charge. Injuring an officer could result in a felony charge and may carry a possible prison sentence. A felony conviction usually has more severe consequences than a misdemeanor conviction, and it stays on a public criminal record for longer.
What are defenses?
There are some limited circumstances in which a defendant can persuade a court to dismiss a charge. A court may find that a person had the right to resist because an arrest was unlawful or a law enforcement officer was using excessive force.
Ultimately, criminal defendants charged with resisting arrest should seek every possible avenue for relief. Successfully defending the underlying charge for an arrest does not mean that a court will then dismiss a charge for resisting arrest.