ProtestOnly a few weeks ago, a burglary suspect injured two police as he was being arrested. The violent acts included striking the deputies with a pipe and a metal fan while he was attempting to escape from his arrest. He was able to get his handcuffs off of himself and charge out of the patrol car so that he could make his attack. He attempted to resist arrest even after the deputies tried to restrain him and even Taser him! But what is resisting arrest? And what penalties can you face when you are charged with this serious crime?

How the Case is proven

Resisting arrest is a serious crime that takes place when you have been arrested. If you have been apprehended by law enforcement officers, you resist arrest the moment that you interfere with that arrest and try to get away. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, it is often tried as a misdemeanor or felony. Some of the actions that occur most often are running and hiding from an officer or acting violently to get away from the police.

You may wonder how these cases are proven. A prosecutor must be able to show elements to the judge to make a case. For one, they will have to prove that you intentionally resisted being arrested by a law enforcement officer. They must also be able to show that you acted violently toward an officer or at least threatened to do so. Lastly, this crime must have taken place when a law enforcement officer was following his duties. This means that he must have been on the job in his line of work acting in a lawful manner when the crime occurred.


If you have resisted arrest, you should be prepared to face penalties for your actions. The following are some of the most common:

Incarceration: If your crime was severe enough, you may see as many as one or more years in prison.

Fines: Fines will vary, but they could reach up to $1,000.

Probation: You must meet the terms of probation if you are sentenced. This could include maintaining employment or counseling.

Community Service: You may have to volunteer for hours with organizations, such as charities, for your actions.

Defenses to Resisting Arrest

Like many crimes, there are some defenses that may be futile in your case. Depending on your situation, there could be a variety of different defenses you could use. Here are some of the most common for this crime:

Unlawful Arrest: Perhaps the arrest was not lawful under any circumstance. If this is the case, and you did nothing wrong, you may have a valid defense. One of the biggest examples of this is if you did not consent to a search of your home and the police officer attempts to detain you and search anyway. If you fight off his advances to do so, you have a defense.

Self-Defense: If police misconduct was part of your case, you can use self-defense. If you have excessive force used against you and he was acting unreasonably, you have a claim. However, your response to his crime must be within reason for self-defense to be properly claimed.

False Allegations: Perhaps you did nothing to resist arrest. Let’s say that an officer was attempting to arrest you and you said something rude to him – this is not resisting. In these cases, witnesses are key. 

Lack of Identification: If you had no idea that the officer was actually part of the police, then you have a case. In some situations, an undercover cop may not identify himself and you may resist because of this.

Did you resist arrest but feel as if you have a valid defense in your case? Speak to us today. We are there to help you through every difficult step of the criminal defense process. At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we are here for you.