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What You Need To Know: Resisting Arrest

What You Need To Know: Resisting Arrest

Being arrested for a crime is a stressful experience. In a moment, it feels like your whole life changes. When this occurs, some people react by trying to stop the arrest from happening. Resisting arrest, however, is an additional criminal offense.

What does it mean to resist arrest?

You may be charged with resisting arrest if you engage in any behaviors that obstruct the arrest, cause a delay, or prevent the officer from doing their duty.

Examples of behaviors that would warrant resisting arrest charges are:

  • Threatening physical force against an officer
  • Running from police
  • Pushing/kicking an officer away as they are trying to put handcuffs on you
  • Going limp so it is difficult for officers to arrest you

Depending on how you resist, the charge could be considered ‘resisting without violence’ or ‘resisting with violence.’

Unfortunately, it is easy for officers to apply the label of ‘resisting arrest’ to many different behaviors, even if they are minor. In some cases, people are surprised to find out they were charged with resisting arrest because they believed they were cooperating.

Resisting arrest because you’re innocent

If you are being arrested for a crime you did not commit, you may resist arrest simply because it feels natural. After all, you know you didn’t do what you’re being accused of. Maybe you think it will look more suspicious if you don’t resist.

Even if you are found innocent of the initial offense, you can still be charged with resisting arrest. For this reason, it is best to comply with officers to avoid finding yourself in legal trouble.

Is resisting arrest a misdemeanor or felony?

This depends on whether or not you acted violently while resisting.

For resisting arrest without violence, it is a misdemeanor offense.
Penalties include:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • Probation
  • Up to $1,000 in fines

Resisting arrest with violence is a felony offense.
Increased penalties include:

  • Up to five years in jail
  • Longer probation requirements
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Fort Lauderdale Defense Attorneys

If you are facing charges for resisting arrest in addition to other criminal charges, give Hager & Schwartz, P.A. a call at (954) 840-8713 to discuss your case. We offer a free initial consultation so we can learn more about your charges, and determine the best course of action.