Bellevue Resisting Arrest Lawyers
What is Considered Resisting Arrest?
Resisting arrest occurs when a person intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a peace officer from lawfully arresting them. As frightening and unnerving as an arrest can be, it’s important to comply with the officer’s demands, or else you could get into deeper trouble than you already are.
If you’re already getting arrested for allegedly committing an offense, you could face additional charges for resisting arrest even if your arrest is unlawful. This is an unfortunate yet common reality for many defendants in the criminal justice system, but we will fight your resisting arrest charges as if our own freedoms were at stake. Our Bellevue attorneys understand that these charges can be subjective, so if an officer believes you are intentionally resisting arrest for a certain reason and charges you as a result, get in touch with our team at Veitch Ault Defense right away so we can begin building your defense.
What is the Difference Between Obstructing an Officer and Resisting Arrest?
Although they seem similar, obstructing a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest are not the same. The difference between the two is that resisting arrest requires the arrestee to attempt to prevent a peace officer from arresting them, regardless of the lawfulness of the arrest, while obstructing an officer can occur outside of an arrest and does not always involve an arrestee themselves. A friend or family member of an arrestee could commit obstruction of justice but cannot be charged for resisting arrest.
How Do People Resist Arrest?
That said, resisting arrest can look like such:
- Making your body limp to make it difficult for the officer to arrest you
- Attempting to flee from an officer who is trying to arrest you
- Running away from your arresting officer
- Stiffening your body to resist an arrest
- Using force against an officer who is carrying out your arrest
- Threatening to use force or violence against the arresting officer
- Spitting on or shouting at the arresting officer
- Hiding from an officer who is trying to arrest you
As you can see, resisting arrest can occur in various ways, many of which do not involve physical contact. As we mentioned before, a person can be charged for resisting an arrest even if the officer did not have probable cause to make an arrest. Thus, that person could have avoided their initial charges for which they were unlawfully arrested but face valid charges for resisting arrest. As unfortunate and unfair as it seems, this is the reality of what could happen if you resist an arrest in Washington State.
What are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest?
You could be penalized by a $1,000 fine and/or up to 90 days in county jail for resisting arrest, which is classified as a misdemeanor in Washington State.
Our Bellevue resisting arrest attorneys understand that your freedom and reputation are on the line. Although resisting arrest is a misdemeanor in Washington State, you could still go to jail, pay fines, and have a criminal record. A criminal record could negatively impact your employment, housing, loans, college education, and much more, which is why we will work tirelessly to help you avoid these devastating consequences.
Possible Defenses to Resisting Arrest Charges
While we cannot guarantee a certain outcome in your case, we can surely explore every available defense that could help get your resisting arrest charges reduced or dropped altogether. Some common defenses to resisting arrest include:
- Self-defense: Police officers may resort to the use of excessive force when carrying out your arrest, so much so that it could be deemed police misconduct, which is both a state and federal crime. If circumstances called for you to fight back against their unlawful use of force, your resisting arrest charges may get reduced or dropped.
- False allegations: Maybe the police officer had something against you, or maybe they misinterpreted your actions to be resistant. In either case, you should work with your attorney to determine if the officer may have wrongly accused you of this crime.
- The officer did not identify themselves: Believe it or not, there’s a chance you should use this defense to your advantage. While police officers are often identifiable based on their badges, patrols cars, and uniforms, that doesn’t always hold for undercover police officers. Undercover officers are just that ― undercover ― which is why you could argue that you resisted arrest because you didn’t know the person was a police officer.
- Unlawful arrest: Again, it doesn’t matter whether or not your arrest was lawful to be charged for resisting arrest. However, you could get your sentence reduced to probation or community service if your attorney successfully establishes that your arrest was unlawful.
With these defenses in mind, know that not all hope is lost. You could very well resolve your charges and move forward unscathed with Veitch Ault Defense on your side. We bring a wealth of experience and insights to the table, as our track record consists of hundreds of cases successfully handled, Super Lawyer recognition for the past 7 years, and honest, transparent communication every step of the way. No stone will be left unturned in your case.
Contact us today for a free consultation and find out how we can help.
2122 112th Ave. NE, Suite A200
Bellevue, WA 98004
20102 Cedar Valley Rd., Suite 104
Lynnwood, WA 98036
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