When you are confronted by police, it is easy to feel under extreme pressure or stress. This leads some people to feel like they should run away or hide from police, but these actions can lead to resisting arrest charges on top of whatever charges you are already dealing with. It may not seem like a big deal, but a resisting arrest conviction can not only lead to a permanent criminal record and jail time, but it can also even prejudice juries against you or lead to further trouble with police. If you are accused of resisting arrest, you need to fight these charges with the help of a knowledgable Cincinnati criminal defense attorney.
What Is Considered Resisting Arrest?
Under Ohio law, you can be arrested for resisting arrest if you recklessly or by force resist or interfere with the lawful arrest of yourself or another person. This means that you cannot simply be calmly walking away or passively refusing to help with the arrest. You also cannot be accused of resisting arrest for refusing to speak with police, as you have the right to remain silent and refuse to speak to law enforcement without an attorney. Even simply giving an officer attitude during an arrest is not sufficient enough for a resisting arrest charge.
A resisting arrest conviction requires proving three things:
- Law enforcement was arresting you lawfully—that is, with cause
- You were properly informed that you (or the other people) were being arrested
- You hindered the arrest by using force or reckless behavior
In general, resisting arrest involves force or active fleeing. Passive actions and angry speech generally do not qualify as resisting arrest, but verbal threats of violence could qualify.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest
If you are convicted for resisting arrest, you usually are charged with a second-degree misdemeanor and face a maximum 90 days in jail and a $750 fine. This charge, however, becomes much more serious if the police officer conducting the arrest is harmed. If you do not have a weapon but still injure law enforcement, you face a first-degree misdemeanor, which can lead to up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. If you have a weapon and the officer is injured, you face felony charges. These can be punished with up to 18 months in jail and a $5000 fine. Since most resisting arrest charges are accompanied by claims of violence against the officer, you can be often penalized with the harshest punishment possible.
What If I Wasn’t Resisting Arrest?
Many of our clients charged with resisting arrest claim that these charges are bogus or that the officer overreacted to a small thing with violence. When you are facing law enforcement alone, you unfortunately will not often be listened to. Although a resisting arrest charge may in fact be unsubstantiated or totally fabricated by an officer trying to avoid brutality charges, you are unlikely to get the charges dropped without the support of someone experienced in the criminal justice system like a Cincinnati criminal defense lawyer. With charges like resisting arrest, there is always potential for abuse, which is why we will always listen to your side of the story without judgment and vigorously advocate for your rights throughout the process.
Arrested? Call Luftman, Heck, & Associates for Help
No matter what happened while you were arrested, you deserve to have someone on your side. That’s why the Cincinnati criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck, & Associates are dedicated to helping you get the best possible outcome. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed, especially when facing multiple charges, but our team is here for you from the start to the finish of your case. Call Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brad Groene today at or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation on your case today to find out how we may be able to help.