Depending on the state in which you live, a resisting arrest charge can be a felony. There are very few acceptable defenses for this scenario, but if the arrest was unlawful, you might have a case. If you were charged and feel that you had a good reason for resisting the arrest, here is what you need to know.
What Is Considered a Good Reason?
Whether or not your reason for resisting arrest is a good reason depends largely on the state in which you were arrested. Some states do have laws that allow you to resist an unlawful arrest.
In states, such as Kansas, Ohio, and Connecticut, courts have upheld the right of citizens to resist arrest when it is unlawful due to the arrest warrant being defective or issued without affidavit.
In states, such as Indiana, the courts ruled that a person has the right to resist arrest when he or she is facing excessive force from the arresting officer.
Is Resisting the Best Action?
Even though your state's laws might give you the legal right to resist arrest, it might not be in your best interests to do so. When you opt to use force to stop an unlawful arrest, the situation can be quickly escalated.
If you live in a state that does not allow for resistance to unlawful arrest, you could face additional charges for attempting to resist. Depending on the outcome of your attempt to stop the arrest, the arresting officer could also allege that he or she was hurt during the process.
The best course of action to follow when being arrested, unlawfully or not, is to allow the officer to follow through with the action. Once you have been arrested, you can request bail from a judge and hire a criminal attorney to help you fight the charges.
Can You Take Additional Action?
In addition to fighting the actual charge you are facing, you can file a complaint against the arresting officer and any other law enforcement officials for misconduct. If it is determined that the arrest was unlawful, there is a possibility that you can also file a civil lawsuit to receive financial compensation for the incident.
Regardless of whether or not the arrest is considered to be unlawful, you should work with a criminal lawyer. He or she can help you understand the law and ensure that you are treated fairly within the criminal justice system. Contact a lawyer, such as Novak Lee Atty At Law, for more information.