What is Resisting Arrest?

Last updated on April 17, 2023

Resisting arrest is a crime. That means that even if the arrest was for something that you did not do, merely resisting means that you can be charged with resisting arrest as a separate crime. Consequently, it’s never in someone’s best interests to resist an arrest or someone else’s arrest, no matter the circumstances.

What is Legally Considered Resisting Arrest?

Under New York Penal Law 205.30, you can be found guilty of resisting arrest if you intentionally prevent or attempt to prevent a police officer or peace officer from effecting an authorized arrest of yourself or of another person. Even when you did not commit the crime you are being arrested for, resisting arrest on its own is a crime in New York. 

If you are facing resisting arrest charges in New York, it is critical to get the assistance of a skilled New York criminal defense attorney. A skilled New York criminal defense attorney can assist you in reviewing the circumstances of your arrest to determine if the police officer acted lawfully and if your rights were respected during the arrest.

What are the Ways that You May Be Charged With Resisting Arrest in New York?

Unfortunately, you have to do very little for a law enforcement officer to charge you with resisting arrest. 

While you have the right to verbally object to an arrest if it is not a forceful verbal objection, any physical action or refusal to do what the officer says can be considered resistance. 

Any physical movement can be interpreted as resistance, even if you don’t mean it to be, and an officer is authorized to arrest and charge you for both the crime you are suspected of as well as the resistance charge. Consequently, it is in an individual’s best interests to comply with the officer to ensure that any actions are not misinterpreted. 

What are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest in New York?

Resisting arrest is considered a Class A misdemeanor, carrying penalties of

  • Up to 364 days in jail
  • Probation up to 3 years
  • Fines of up to $1,000

If you are convicted of resisting arrest, even if you aren’t convicted of the crime you were being arrested for, you will have a criminal record that can follow you for the rest of your life. 

Are There Defense Options For Resisting Arrest Charges?

Fortunately, your New York criminal defense attorney has several ways of defending you against charges of resisting arrest.  

  • Your attorney may show that your actions had been misinterpreted by the arresting officer, not attempting to resist the arrest. 
  • Your resistance was a self-defense move against the officer’s unreasonable use of force.
  • The arrest was unlawful.

The defense strategy used by your attorney will vary depending on the other details of the case. 

Is Resisting Arrest A Felony?

Resisting arrest is a grave offense that can result in severe consequences, classified as a class A misdemeanor in New York. Those convicted of this offense may face probation, a fine of up to $1,000, and up to 364 days of imprisonment

It is important to note that resisting arrest is usually not charged as a separate offense but is often linked to the resistance of an arrest for another crime. Resisting arrest can entail trying to stop a police officer from arresting oneself or someone else.

There are multiple ways to resist arrest, and any effort to obstruct an officer from carrying out a lawful arrest can lead to charges. This includes physical resistance or failure to follow an officer’s commands.

It is crucial to understand the potential implications of resisting arrest and comply with an officer’s instructions during an arrest. Even if you believe the arrest is unjust, it is not worth the risk of facing criminal charges and potential imprisonment. 

If you find yourself being arrested, it is crucial to comply with the officer’s instructions and seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced Long Island criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you look into the details of your arrest to see if the arresting officer acted appropriately and if your rights were violated during the arrest.

Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys in New York

If you have been charged with resisting arrest in New York, it is important to get the guidance of an experienced New York criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you do not find yourself facing other serious criminal charges needlessly. 
Call Jason Bassett and the criminal defense team at the Law Offices of Jason Bassett at (631) 259-6060 or contact us online for a no-cost consultation. We will help ensure that your legal rights are being protected each step of the way.

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