When an individual interferes or delays the investigation process of a police officer in a criminal investigation, the individual will face charges for resisting or delaying arrest. It is considered a misdemeanor offense and has to be defended like any other criminal offense.
What is Resisting Arrest?
When an individual tries to prohibit or delay a police officer or EMT (Emergency Medical Technician) from performing their duty, it is considered resisting or delaying. In some cases, if the individual resists arrest, it may involve physical force, however, that’s not always the case.
It is usually defined as an intentional act of preventing the police officer or EMT from doing their job. The police officer may be trying to handcuff or arrest the individual to take them to jail, but the individual may be running away, struggling, or doing certain physical acts which may be interfering with the job of the officer.
Other forms of resistance include giving false identification, abusing the officer, both verbally or physically, presenting a fake ID, trying to help another person avoid arrest, and threatening the officer. Being slow to comply with any orders given by the officer also falls under resistance. The officer may warrant resisting arrest charges against the individual if they feel the person is delaying or interfering them from performing their duty. Questioning an officer’s authority and actions also falls under this charge.
Possible Defenses Against Resisting Arrest Charges
Depending on the situation, a number of possible defenses can be used to defend a resisting arrest charge:
Unlawful Arrest – The first and the most obvious defense that is used in these cases is that the arrest was not lawful in the first place. The individual had done nothing wrong and the officer made an unlawful arrest.
Self-defense – The second defense strategy used in these cases is that the police officer was not acting properly and the individual had to defend themselves against police misconduct. Similarly, if the officer used excessive force to make the arrest, that can be considered an unlawful arrest.
False Allegations – If your actions were not actually such that they can fall under the definition of resisting arrest, and you were simply rude or sarcastic towards the officer, but the officer charged you with interfering or resisting arrest, then you can use the false allegations defense. In such cases, it is usually best to have other witnesses who can prove your point.
Officer did not prove identity – If the officer failed to identify themselves, such as in the case of an undercover cop, the person may resist arrest. In such a case, this defense strategy can be used effectively.
In most cases, an individual can avoid a resisting arrest charge if they comply with the police officers requests politely. Escalating the matter will only lead to serious charges, which are classified as felonies. If you or someone you know is facing a resisting arrest charge, you need to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney right away to have the charge reduced or removed.