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What may lead to resisting arrest charges?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2021 | blog, Criminal Defense

When dealing with a police officer, someone might believe that the threshold for being charged with resisting arrest is high. Self-assessments about what could lead to arrests or criminal charges may bring about a very undesirable outcome in Maryland. Sometimes, it might not take much to face resisting arrest charges.

Instances of resisting arrest

Certain examples of resisting arrest might be more clear-cut than others. If the police are attempting to handcuff someone and that person fights with the officers, charges of resisting arrest may seem warranted. There could even be additional charges levied based on the suspect’s actions.

Then there are also less violent scenarios. What if a police officer tells someone to come forward after someone else accuses the person of theft, and the person appears hesitant and has to be asked twice? The person might move slowly on purpose, which the police could deem defiant. That behavior might result in resisting arrest charges as well.

In Maryland, resisting arrest is a misdemeanor. Those found guilty could face upwards of three years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000.

Defenses to resisting arrest charges

Being arrested for a crime does not mean the same thing as being convicted. There are credible defenses for resisting arrest charges that an attorney might employ.

Based on Maryland’s statutes, specific elements must be present for legitimate charges of resisting arrest. For one, resisting arrest requires the use of force. If the courts determine there was no force employed by the defendant, the charges may be dismissed. Also, the arrest must be lawful. What if there was no probable cause or the arrest involved an illegal search? An attorney may argue that the arrest wasn’t lawful, which might serve as another possible dismissal strategy.

Resisting arrest involves not complying with an officer attempting to perform a lawful arrest. Under Maryland criminal law, it is a misdemeanor. Those facing charges may want to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to address their legal situation.