If you’ve ever seen an episode of Cops, you’ve undoubtedly seen people resisting arrest by leading the cops into a high-speed car chase, running out of the car in the dead of the night, or something else extreme. However, more often than not, people can be charged with resisting arrest for much less extreme maneuvers. Today we will discuss what constitutes as resisting arrest, what penalties you may face if you are found guilty of penalty resisting arrest, and how we can help to reduce resisting arrest charges in Missouri.
What Is Considered Resisting Arrest
As previously mentioned you don’t have to do anything extreme to a police officer for them to charge you with resisting arrest (although extreme situations do happen). Resisting arrest in Missouri could be anything from not pulling over when you see the flashing lights behind your car to not complying with the police officer’s orders for arrest such as putting your hands behind your back, not sitting down, etc.
In Missouri, a person commits the offense of resisting arrest when he or she does any of the following:
- Flees from an officer
- Using or threatening to use violence or force against an officer
- In some way interferes with the arrest, stop, or detention
In order for a person to be convicted of resisting arrest the following evidence must be present that shows that:
- The person knew or should have known that the officer was attempting to make an arrest or lawfully detain or stop a person or vehicle, and the person acted with intent to interfere with or to prevent the arrest.
The term resisting arrest applies to all arrests, stops, and or detentions for any offense, unlawful infraction, or ordinance violation. No warrant is necessary, but resisting arrest also includes arrests conducted based on issued warrants from a court or probation/parole officer.
It should be noted that an unlawful arrest is, unfortunately, not a valid defense if you’re charged with resisting arrest in Missouri. It doesn’t matter one way or another if the arrest was unlawful.
So whether you are stopped legally or illegally, resisting arrest is never a good idea, because the penalties are steep, as you’ll find out below.
What Are The Penalties For Resisting Arrest in Missouri?
When you are being arrested in Missouri, chances are that the officer has reason to believe that you’ve already broken the law. Because of this, a resisting arrest is another charge on top of the charges you may be facing for the initial arrest. For example, if you’re pulled over for speeding and wait until the police officer gets to your vehicle to “make a run for it”, you’ll be charged with speeding (any other offenses that the police officer cites) as well as resisting arrest.
When charged with resisting arrest a few different things are taken into consideration. First and foremost, the severity of the initial charge. This means that if you are being charged for a misdemeanor crime, you will be charged with a misdemeanor resisting arrest.
If you are charged with a felony crime you will be charged with felony resisting arrest. The other factor that comes into play is the nature of the interference or resistance. A violent interference that caused serious injury or death of another person is charged as a felony crime. Generally speaking, the possible penalties for resisting arrest look like this, according to Missouri State laws:
- Resisting/interfering arrest (for a misdemeanor arrest): Charged as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, fines up to $2,500.
- Resisting/interfering arrest (for a felony arrest): Charged as a felony, punishable by incarceration of up to 4 years, fines up to $25,000.
- Resisting/interfering with an arrest (causing a substantial risk of serious injury or death to another person): Charged as a felony, punishable by incarceration of up to 4 years, fines up to $25,000.
The penalties for resisting arrest are steep, that’s where we come in. Over the years, we’ve helped countless individuals in Missouri reduce or eliminate their criminal charges, and we believe that we can help you too.
Call Missouri Legal Today
Being charged with resisting arrest, on top of another charge can seem like a daunting task. When someone is charged with resisting arrest, the best course of action is to discuss your case with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Springfield. We highly advise against using a public defender or “going it alone,” especially when a resisting arrest charge is hanging over your head.
Resisting arrest charges can be extremely difficult to find unless you have skilled professionals by your side. Let Missouri Legal help you during this process. Contact us at our law office in Springfield, MO today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced criminal defense lawyers.