Resisting arrest is one of the easiest charges any prosecutor can bring, which makes it one of the toughest charges to defend against. This can give the State extra leverage in negotiating a plea agreement, which is why prosecutors will often add it to a person’s charges even if the police initially did not.
The main problem is that the language in the law is extremely broad. It merely requires that the State prove you had “physically interfered” with a person recognized to be law enforcement. Criminal defense lawyers in this state have seen prosecutions based on claims that a defendant walked away from an officer yelling “stop” or tensed up when the officer was trying to put cuffs on.
“[R]egardless of whether there is a legal basis for the arrest.”
Another reason these charges are difficult that people tend to ignore a critical part of the law: you can be convicted of resisting arrest “regardless of whether there is a legal basis for the arrest.” In other words, it could be the most flagrantly illegal arrest in the world, but if you interfere with it, you’re getting charged.
This means that a defense lawyer cannot come along later and ask the court to dismiss the case because of the bad arrest. Some charges might get dismissed, but you’ll still have to deal with the resisting arrest charge or even others that might come later. Courts recognize a “new crimes” exception to the search and seizure laws that will sometimes allow the prosecutor to bring evidence that would otherwise get thrown out—all because you committed that new crime.
“Verbal protestations alone shall not constitute resisting arrest or detention.”
Some good news is that “[v]erbal protestations alone shall not constitute resisting arrest or detention.” You can talk about how badly you’re being treated all day, so long as you do not move.
Some laws are more complex than you might think. Get an attorney with the experience to understand your charges. To get started, call Jared Bedrick at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C., (603) 288-1403 or fill out our online contact form.