What exactly should you know about the risk of resisting arrest?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2022 | Criminal Defense |

Facing an arrest can be just as frightening as facing criminal charges. In cases like this, it is human instinct to protect yourself – which might involve the fight-or-flight response.

However, fleeing or otherwise resisting arrest could lead to even more stress in such a situation. So, what should you know about “resisting arrest?”

What counts as resisting arrest?

North Carolina law only states that resisting officers or resisting arrest involves restricting, obstructing or delaying officers in completing an arrest or another official duty.

This language seems vague and could cover a wide range of actions. Fleeing officers or physically scuffling with them are some of the most common actions that the law would classify as resisting arrest. However, if an action falls under the definition of “obstructing” or “delaying” officers, then that could also be classified as resisting arrest.

Resisting arrest can lead to even more charges

If the police arrest you for possession of illegal substances, you already face the risk of criminal charges. It is also a crime to resist arrest, and this could lead to:

  • Class 2 misdemeanor charges
  • Class I or Class F felony charges if resisting arrest causes serious injuries to officers

Essentially, the risk of resisting arrest means you could face compounded criminal charges and penalties.

How can you fight these charges?

It is possible to challenge and fight charges of resisting arrest. Some of the key issues in these cases are:

  • Your intentions: The language of the law states individuals must “willfully and unlawfully” resist arrest. Your intention at the time can make a big difference in your defense.
  • Police actions: During an arrest, North Carolina police officers must follow specific rules. The arrest must be legal. If police act inappropriately or unlawfully, then you could have reason to explain your resistance and challenge the criminal charges.

If you face charges for resisting arrest, it is essential to protect yourself and fight these charges.