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Resisting arrest: What you need to know

In general, resisting arrest refers to any action that a suspect takes that makes completing an arrest or investigation more difficult on police officers. You might think that resisting arrest means you ran from the cops or put up a fight while they were trying to cuff you. The reality is that even if you respond in a way an officer deems to be too slow, it could lead to a charge for resisting arrest. Furthermore, you do not actually have to be under arrest or a suspect for an officer to charge you with resisting.

While it seems like it does not take much to end up with a resisting arrest charge, law enforcement officers cannot interpret any given situation as you resisting. For more information about resisting arrest, read below.

Intention

In order for a resisting arrest charge to stick, certain conditions must exist. For example, you have to intend to prevent an arrest or stop a Plano officer from performing an official duty. Other actions that might lead to the charge include posing a risk to the officer or another person and behaving in a manner that makes the officer's use of force justified. For example, if an officer attempted to arrest you on a drug possession charge and you chose to make a run for it, the police officer might include resisting arrest with any other charges.

Proving guilt

In order for the prosecution to find you guilty, he or she will have to prove certain factors existed. First, the prosecutor must prove you knew or should have known that the person you were resisting or interfering with was a police officer. Also, the prosecution must prove that the law enforcement officer was carrying out his or duties in a legal manner. And, finally, there must be evidence that you intended to interfere or resist.

Examples of resisting

As mentioned above, resisting arrest usually involves an individual interfering with a police officer carrying out his or her lawful duties. Some of the most common actions that lead to a resisting arrest charge include fighting back against an officer that is attempting to place you under arrest, giving false information to the police, or forcing a cop to carry or drag you in order to place you under arrest.

Consequences

Depending on the circumstances of the situation, a resisting arrest charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are facing a misdemeanor, the court could include a year of jail time, heavy fines, and possible informal probation as part of your punishment. If the charge is a felony, you could end up with three years in jail, fines up to $10,000 and formal probation.

Available defenses

Just like the severity of your charge, the defense that might apply to you will depend on the specific circumstances your case. For example, you might be able to claim you acted in self-defense because the arresting officer was using excessive force. Or, the arrest itself might have been illegal.

If you have been charged with resisting arrest, your attorney will be able to help you fight against the charge as well as any other charge you might be facing. Regardless of the nature of your offense, it is important to remember that you still have certain rights.

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