Resisting Arrest: A Hot Button Issue For U.S. Residents
This charge has always been largely subjective and up to the police officer arresting you to determine if your actions constitute resisting or not. Since police officers are well known for fabricating evidence or statements that support their actions, you could get pegged for resisting even if you weren’t. Here’s what you should know.
Behavior Considered Resisting Arrest
- Any action that could be considered preventing the police from making an arrest
- Posing a danger to the arresting officer or other law enforcement officers on site
- Pulling yourself away from an officer who is attempting to handcuff or restrain you
- Running or evading the police when they try to arrest you
- Passively resisting arrest, such as becoming “dead weight” and forcing the officer to carry your body or drag you to the police car to detain you
- Physically harming the police officer who is arresting you
- Offering a fake name and address when questioned about your identity by police
- Threatening an officer with harm or violence
- Taking out a weapon during an arrest
If you evade the police in your vehicle, this is also considered another form of resisting, however, it’s charged separately. If you are charged with evasion, you are also more likely to catch a charge of resisting arrest, even if you comply with police officers once you are stopped.
Behavior Not Considered Resisting
- Cussing, swearing, or crying, and being upset about your arrest, so long as you do not threaten the officers who are detaining you
- Resisting the arrest of someone who you cannot reasonably know is a police officer, such as someone who isn’t wearing a uniform or hasn’t presented their badge
- If the arrest was illegal or unlawful, resisting arrest cannot be charged, since a legitimate arrest did not occur in the first place
- Defending yourself against being physically assaulted by police officers
Although these behaviors are technically not considered resisting arrest, law enforcement officials will often use them in their reports to illustrate that you were being belligerent, rude, or combative during the arrest. Even if the officer can’t actually prove that you resisted with video or body cam evidence, if they can prove that you swore or were rude, it makes their claim that you did resist more easily believable by a judge.
Should You Get Legal Help After Being Accused of Resisting?
Get legal help after being charged with resisting arrest by calling Los Angeles Criminal Defense Lawyer Chad Lewin today for your free consultation at (800) 458-1488.