If you’re like many people, you know that it’s against the law to resist arrest. But what counts as resisting arrest, and what can you do if the police accused you of doing so? This guide explains.
What is Resisting Arrest, and What Can You Do if You’re Accused of It?
Law enforcement officers can consider just about anything to be resisting arrest. If you pull away when an officer is attempting to handcuff you, push back, threaten or otherwise struggle, or if you physically try to fight with a police officer who is attempting to arrest you, you can be charged with resisting arrest. As you can see, it’s pretty easy to be charged with resisting arrest. And in the state of Illinois, that’s a Class A misdemeanor.
If the court convicts you of a Class A misdemeanor, you could spend up to a year in jail and pay fines of up to $2,500. On top of that, Illinois law requires that you spend at least 48 hours in jail and perform at least 100 hours of community service if you are convicted of resisting arrest. Further, if the officer (or firefighter or correctional institution worker) is injured because of your attempt to resist, you couldn’t be charged with a Class 4 felony. You could then spend up to three years in prison and pay a fine of up to $25,000.
Related: Illinois ending cash bail in 2023
What Can You Do if You’re Accused of Resisting Arrest?
First things first: If the police tell you to “stop resisting,” you should ensure you’re not doing anything that could be misunderstood as resisting. Cooperate with the police as best you can so they won’t have anything to charge you with. unfortunately, sometimes people really aren’t resisting arrest, but the police charged him with it anyway. If that happens in your situation, you need to tell your attorney exactly what happened during your arrest. Your attorney will attempt to find witnesses, CCTV footage or anything else that helps clear your name. Remember, too, that the prosecution is required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you actually resisted arrest.
Do You Need to Talk to an Attorney?
If you’ve been accused of a crime, we may be able to help you – and don’t worry: It’s completely confidential. Call us at 847-920-4540 or fill out the form below to schedule your free, private consultation with an experienced and skilled Chicago criminal defense attorney now.