Faced with a resisting arrest charge? Here we explore what that means, what’s at stake, and how to defend your rights.
A resisting arrest charge is a charge that occurs when a person interferes with a lawful arrest by law enforcement. It is sometimes also referred to as obstruction. Resisting arrest charges are commonly included with the initial arrestable offense. Resisting arrest is a fairly broad legal concept and some people find themselves faced with charges they don’t understand or don’t feel are justified. If that is you, we’re here to help.
If you or a loved one is facing a resisting arrest charge, contact the attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP today to discuss the details of your case: (508) 762-1397 or to fill out a contact form online.
What you should know about resisting arrest
Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor in the state of Massachusetts. If convicted, even a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge for something like running or hiding from law enforcement could result in a fine of up to $500 and up to 2 ½ years in jail. Importantly, resisting arrest charges can be prosecuted separately from the crime a person was being arrested for in the first place and, unlike other prosecutable crimes, cannot be sealed or expunged from a person’s record.
There is no normal for resisting arrest. Resisting arrest charges may be issued for:
- Flinching, making ones’ body limp, or interrupting during a lawful arrest
- Refusing to open the door to law enforcement
- Stating or presenting fake identification
- Hiding or running from law enforcement
- Soliciting help from bystanders to prevent ones’ arrest
- Making threats to an officer or otherwise jeopardizing an officer’s safety.
What must the prosecution prove for a resisting arrest charge?
Resisting arrest charges can come from any number of behaviors a person might display during an arrest. In many cases, our clients were not aware at the time of their arrest that their actions constituted resisting arrest.
In order to charge a person with resisting arrest, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the police officer was acting in his official authority. They must also prove that the defendant knowingly:
- Prevented a police officer acting in his/her official capacity from arresting the defendant or another person.
- Used or threatened to use violence or physical force, or used other means which threatened the physical safety of the arresting officer or another officer.
Possible defenses for a resisting arrest charge
There are many possible defenses for a resisting arrest charge. The right legal defense team will be scrupulous in uncovering evidence that will help to support your innocence. Subject to the details of your individual case, we may pursue any of the following to defend your actions:
- Use of self-defense against excess force
- Lack of knowledge
- Lack of intent
What the right legal advocate can do to help
We have a track record of tactful negotiation with the prosecution and know how to get cases reduced or dismissed for our clients. Whether to avoid or win in trial, knowing you have an experienced defense attorney on your side is vital.
Our team of attorneys at Murphy & Rudolf, LLP are experienced in dealing with resisting arrest and can help you pursue the most favorable outcome for your case. To request a free consultation or to simply get in touch, call (508) 762-1397 or fill out an online contact form on the website.