Resisting Arrest Lawyer

Resisting arrest is when an officer gives a lawful command to stop, and somebody doesn’t stop.

That can go all the way from somebody running to somebody fighting with cops. This is something that as prosecutors we fought against, and as defense attorneys we defend against. This is a sort of thing where you have to really get down into the details of what happened.

Once cops are there, once you’re in that situation, comply. Even if they’re completely in the wrong. Even if you’re completely in the right. Fighting with a cop in the middle of an arrest situation is never going to help. They are going to use overwhelming force because they are trained to. It is for officer safety. They’re going to stop whatever they perceive the problem to be. If you’re the problem, they’re going to go through you. So just stop, comply, let your attorney deal with the problem.

As officers start wearing body cams and using dash cams, it is easier to determine whether or not we can fight these charges. Sometimes a lawful command is enough to create a resisting arrest charge. I’ve seen cases where somebody is being handcuffed and they simply turn to the side, and that’s resisting arrest.

It’s all about whether or not it’s a misdemeanor or felony and the amount of struggle that goes into it. So that simple turn to the side would typically be a misdemeanor. Unless you’re resisting arrest because you’re being arrested for a felony charge of something else and then that could be a felony as well. Just a simple move of the shoulders could be resisting arrest felony.

It is very fact specific. You have to dig into it and see what the reason is that you’re being arrested, what the activity was that you were doing whenever you were arrested, and the results of the arrest. That’s something an experienced attorney can dig into, and help you out with.



Title XXXVIII Chapter 575.150

575.150.   Resisting or interfering with arrest — penalties. —

1.  A person commits the offense of resisting or interfering with arrest, detention, or stop if he or she knows or reasonably should know that a law enforcement officer is making an arrest or attempting to lawfully detain or stop an individual or vehicle, and for the purpose of preventing the officer from effecting the arrest, stop or detention, he or she:

  (1)  Resists the arrest, stop or detention of such person by using or threatening the use of violence or physical force or by fleeing from such officer; or

  (2)  Interferes with the arrest, stop or detention of another person by using or threatening the use of violence, physical force or physical interference.

  2.  This section applies to:

  (1)  Arrests, stops, or detentions, with or without warrants;

  (2)  Arrests, stops, or detentions, for any offense, infraction, or ordinance violation; and

  (3)  Arrests for warrants issued by a court or a probation and parole officer.

  3.  A person is presumed to be fleeing a vehicle stop if he or she continues to operate a motor vehicle after he or she has seen or should have seen clearly visible emergency lights or has heard or should have heard an audible signal emanating from the law enforcement vehicle pursuing him or her.

  4.  It is no defense to a prosecution pursuant to subsection 1 of this section that the law enforcement officer was acting unlawfully in making the arrest.  However, nothing in this section shall be construed to bar civil suits for unlawful arrest.

  5.  The offense of resisting or interfering with an arrest is a class E felony for an arrest for a:

  (1)  Felony;

  (2)  Warrant issued for failure to appear on a felony case; or

  (3)  Warrant issued for a probation violation on a felony case.


The offense of resisting an arrest, detention or stop in violation of subdivision (1) or (2) of subsection 1 of this section is a class A misdemeanor, unless the person fleeing creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to any person, in which case it is a class E felony.