Resisting arrest is a broad charge, and there are many types of behavior that would qualify a person as being resistant to a law enforcement officer. Often, these behaviors are subject to the interpretation of the arresting officer. But are police officers abusing this Maryland law to cover up their own misconduct? Here’s how to know what is actually resisting — and what isn’t.
What Is Resisting Arrest?
The following behaviors are most likely going to be considered resisting arrest:
- Threatening a law enforcement officer
- Providing false identification to a law enforcement officer
- Helping someone else to resist arrest
- Struggling or physically resisting when an officer is handcuffing you or putting you in their vehicle
- Attacking an officer
- Running or hiding from a law enforcement officer
What Is Not Resisting Arrest?
The following behaviors do not, in and of themselves, constitute resisting arrest:
- Remaining silent
- Involuntary reactions, such as tensing or jerking arms away from the officer when a suspect is thrown to the ground
What Must Be Proven in a Resisting Arrest Case
In any resisting arrest case, the prosecutor has the burden of proof. He or she must prove that:
- The officer was easily identifiable as a law enforcement officer, either by presenting credentials or by wearing a law enforcement uniform
- The defendant did, in fact, attempt to resist or flee the officer making the arrest
- The defendant knew he or she was breaking the law by resisting
Often, police officers will charge a person with resisting arrest to cover up their own misconduct, such as using excessive force against a suspect, or engaging in an unwarranted search and/or seizure.
When to Contact an Attorney
If you were charged with resisting arrest, it may feel as though you don’t have a leg to stand on, especially if it is your word against the officer’s, and there were no other witnesses present. You do still have legal options, and it is possible to defend against charges of resisting arrest with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
J. Christopher Llinas has extensive experience working with clients who have been charged with resisting arrest and can provide you the comprehensive legal support you need during this difficult time. Contact Attorney Llinas today for a consultation to discuss your situation and to determine how to take the next step to protecting your rights under Maryland law. Call now at (443) 235-5793.