Being taken into custody by police can be scary. Sometimes when a person is under arrest they panic and do or say things that they otherwise would not do.
It is not uncommon for people facing arrest to be shocked or surprised or react with physical resistance. Sometimes, officers who are concerned for their safety or are agitated will be rough with you when they place you in handcuffs. A charge of Resisting Arrest is likely the result. While it does not take much to be charged with Resisting Arrest, defenses are available.
Oftentimes with Resisting Arrest charges there are multiple accounts of what happened. Sometimes the person being accused of Resisting Arrest is under the influence of alcohol, hyper-stressed or disoriented from something unrelated to the arrest. Police officers sometimes get frustrated from what appears to be non-compliance with their demands.
You can contact a reputable criminal defense attorney like William Barabino by calling his Medford, Massachusetts office at 781-393-5900.
How A Person Resists Arrest
Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268, Section 32B explains how a person is legally at fault for Resisting Arrest:
- Preventing or attempting to prevent police from making an arrest
- Officer is acting under their police authority
- Arrested person is using or threatening to use physical force or violence or creating a substantial risk of bodily injury
- Arrested person is knowingly resisting
If the government cannot establish that all these conditions were met, a person must be acquitted. Your lawyer will look at the facts and what happened and help you make a defense based on how you and the arresting officer reacted.
Defenses to Resisting Arrest
There are several legal defenses to Resisting Arrest.
For example, a defense is available if a person does not know when they were arrested that the person arresting them was a law enforcement agent. This may sound obvious, but arrests often occur at night or when a person is intoxicated or generally agitated.
Remember that a charge of Resisting Arrest must occur before the arrest is completed. A person is entitled to a dismissal or not-guilty verdict if resistance happened after the arrest.
Other defenses could include:
Resisting Arrest Trial
Your attorney’s job is to advocate in your best interest. If you believe your best interest would be to challenge a charge in trial, your attorney will work with you to prepare and present a case for acquittal before a judge or jury.
However, a trial is not the only option available to you. There are other cheaper and less expensive means of contesting a criminal complaint without admitting wrongdoing.
Your attorney may be able to negotiate a deal for you, which could include the district attorney agreeing to dismiss your case. Typically, if there is a misunderstanding involved with the crime, a dismissal is an obtainable option. Paying a fine, pre-trial probation, or a Continuation Without a Finding (“CWOF”) are also available.
In the end, regardless of the option you choose, your attorney will be with you every step of the way.
Contact Us to Begin Planning Your Legal Defense
If you are facing charges, and are under investigation for Resisting Arrest, contact Greater Boston Area criminal defense attorney William J. Barabino. Call his Medford, Massachusetts law office at 781-393-5900 or complete his online contact form, which you can find here.