Resisting arrest is a term that covers more than just pushing or pulling away from an officer or doing something violent in order to “avoid” being arrested. Whether or not you believe you have committed a crime, resisting arrest can lead to serious repercussions. Being charged with resisting arrest in Springfield, MO can add increased penalties and fines to the charge(s) you may have already received at the time of the arrest.
If you have been charged with resisting arrest you have the right to defend yourself. As criminal defense attorneys in Springfield, MO who have taken on hundreds of resisting arrest cases, Missouri Legal can provide you with legal assistance to either have these charges reduced or dismissed. Call us today to schedule a no-cost, no-obligation consultation to discuss your future.
Continue reading to learn what is considered resisting arrest in the state of Missouri, what the penalties are, and what you can do to fight resisting arrest charges.
What Is Resisting Arrest?
Oftentimes when people hear the term resisting arrest they think of someone acting violently towards a police officer or pulling away in order to resist the arrest from happening. While this is one of the most common forms of resisting arrest, resisting arrest covers a much broader area. According to Missouri Revised Statutes 575.150, a person commits the act of resisting arrest in Springfield, MO when he or she performs any of the following:
- Interfering with an arrest, stop or detention
- Fleeing from an officer either on foot or by vehicle
- The use of or threatening the use of physical violence or force against the arresting officer
It should be noted that a person can be charged with resisting arrest, even if he or she is not the one being arrested. For example, if you are with a person who is being arrested and you interfere with the arrest you can be charged in Springfield with resisting arrest.
What Are The Penalties For Resisting Arrest?
The penalties for resisting arrest are staggering if convicted. However in order to be convicted of resisting arrest in Springfield, MO it must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that there was intent to commit the crime. According to this article from FindLaw, this is established by showing that:
- The person knew or should have known that the officer was making an arrest or was attempting to lawfully detain or stop an individual or vehicle; and
- The person acted with the intent to interfere with or to prevent the arrest.
Something to keep in mind is that “unlawful arrest” is not a legal defense if you are charged with resisting arrest. This is why it’s imperative to hire a criminal defense attorney to defend you if you have been charged with this crime.
Usually, the penalties for resisting arrest are far greater than that of the first crime that caused the person to be arrested in the first place. If you are convicted of resisting arrest, potential criminal penalties include:
- Misdemeanor Conviction – Fines up to $2,500 and possible jail time for up to one year.
- Felony Conviction – Possible incarceration up to 4-years and fines up to $25,000.
What Can You Do If You’ve Been Charged With Resisting Arrest?
As you can see from the information provided above, resisting or interfering with an arrest is a serious crime with severe consequences. If you or a loved one is facing misdemeanor or felony charges for resisting arrest it is crucial to your future that you hire an experienced attorney to represent you in court. Once you and your attorney have gone over your case, he or she will develop a defense strategy in order to help you win your case and remove the charges against you. Common defense strategies for resisting arrest include, but are not limited to:
- The officer failed to identify themselves as a law enforcement agent – In order to be convicted of resisting arrest in Springfield, MO it must be proven that the defendant had the intent to resist arrest from a police officer. If the officer failed to identify themselves, then the argument for intentionality is moot.
- False allegations – If your attorney can prove that what occurred during the time of the arrest does not fit under the umbrella of resisting arrest as set by the state, you will not be charged with resisting arrest. Witnesses (preferably not friends or family of the defendant) can help in these types of situations to prove whether or not the allegations are true or false.
- Self Defense – In some cases, a person may have to defend themselves during an arrest due to police misconduct. Misconduct includes, but is not limited to, an officer using excessive force against you during the arrest.
Call Missouri Legal Today
To ensure that you have the best outcome available, it’s critical that you speak with a criminal defense attorney in Springfield, Mo if you’ve been charged with resisting arrest. Not only will a resisting arrest charge increase the penalties against you, but it could also negatively impact any other charges you may be facing. Mistakes happen, but they don’t have to ruin your life. Call Missouri Legal today to get the legal advice and support that you deserve.