We are seeing an increase in news about people resisting arrest. These mishaps began to enter the public consciousness with the Rodney King video release, and continue through situations like the Trayvon Martin case in Florida. Most people who are arrested will not resist the arrest, all too often out of fear of police brutality, regardless of whether the arrest is lawful or not. However, some individuals who have not done anything wrong will resist an unlawful arrest, and rightfully so, considering the arrestee had not done anything wrong. What does resisting an unlawful arrest get you? Usually in more trouble.
Resisting Arrest and the Consequences
Resisting an arrest usually involves fighting a police officer, running away from a police officer, or threatening a police officer. In most jurisdictions resisting an arrest is an additional charge that can be added to the underlying charge for which you are arrested. So what type of consequences come along with a resisting arrest charge? Resisting arrest is considered a Class A Misdemeanor. Under this class of crime, the Court can order jail for 48 hours or order you to perform community service for at least 100 hours. The resisting arrest conviction does not resolve with the initial reason why you were arrested in the first place.
Let’s say that during the arrest that the police claim you resisted, an officer is injured, and your charge is increased to a Class 4 Felony. This increased charge brings with it imprisonment for at least a year but not more than three, and you may be subject to increased fines. Again, that is in addition to the initial charge that precipitated the arrest.
What Happens When You Have Been Arrested Unlawfully?
Sometimes you can find yourself arrested when you have no reason to be. Maybe the officer thought you fit the description of a suspect for a crime. Maybe the officer thought they saw you doing something that was illegal. Maybe you were with the wrong crowd. All of these scenarios can increase the likelihood of being the victim of an unlawful arrest. Under any of the previously mentioned circumstances, resistance of the arrest can come with more trouble and add an additional charge to the underlying arrest charge.
What Should You Do?
If you find yourself being unlawfully arrested for a crime that you have not committed, do not resist. Resisting can cause you more harm as well as compound the charges. Let the officer take you into custody, and let the judicial system work for you. If you have found yourself under these circumstances where you have resisted an unlawful arrest, Contact us today for a consultation.