Resisting arrest: Key things you should know

An arrest is usually a traumatic and emotionally charged experience. And, depending on the situation of your arrest, it can be tempting to try and resist arrest. In most cases, irrational thoughts can cloud your mind to escape. Unfortunately, the attempt can just lead to additional criminal charges. As a result, you can now face several charges just because there was an emotional reaction that distressed you. If you or someone else you know is charged with escape or resisting arrest, you need to get an attorney right away to help with your case. 

This is because the penalties that apply for resisting arrest can be serious and you can end up in jail. Besides, because the justice system has proven that you are a flight risk, it can be hard for you to get bail. The good news is that a knowledgeable and experienced lawyer can offer a huge advantage in the courtroom. A good attorney can use their resources and experience to craft a great resisting arrest defense that may cast reasonable doubt on the case. This article discusses resisting arrest. 

Understanding resisting arrest

The state of Colorado considers obstruction of justice charges seriously including resisting arrests. There are various factors that are considered when it comes to attempting to prevent a police officer from making an arrest. This includes threatening or using a type of physical force against a police officer. Also, using alternative means to resist arrest, leads to a substantial risk of causing injuries to a police officer or even someone else.    

It’s crucial to note that the police officer needs to be lawfully on duty for the resisting arrest charge to apply. Besides, Colorado law says that it’s not admissible in court to claim that the officer attempted an unlawful arrest or utilized excessive and unreasonable force to make the arrest. Police officers must make a good judgment based on the circumstances when they are executing an arrest.

It’s worth mentioning that resisting arrest is not regarded as a felony. Instead, the charge is a class 2 misdemeanor. And, if you are convicted, you can face up to a year in jail or a fine.  

Regardless of this, trying to resist an arrest may lead to serious criminal consequences that can follow you for many years. Under the Colorado Revised Statutes, if you try to escape while in confinement or police custody, they can charge you with a class 4 felony. With the class 4 felony, you can have a penalty of up to 12 years in jail or a fine of at least $750,000. 

Remember that the penalties for trying to escape can change when certain facts can be proven in court. There is a chance that they can charge you with a class 5 felony if you attempted to escape confinement or custody after you were convicted of a felony and you were serving a direct sentence in a community corrections program. You need to note that you can also get a class 5 felony if you tried to escape from intensive supervision parole programs.  

The maximum penalty for a class 5 felony can be at least 3 years in prison or a fine of about $100, 000. Trying to escape detainment or custody for a minor crime can lead to lighter penalties. For example, if you tried to escape confinement or custody for a petty offense or misdemeanor charges, you can be sentenced to serve jail time of at least 4 months. The sentence for trying to escape can run consecutively with a sentence you are currently serving.   

Assisting or helping an offender to escape from confinement or custody can also lead to criminal penalties. You can be criminally charged if you knowingly assist an individual to escape from confinement or custody. You should note that the term escape is considered to be a continuing activity. This means that the authorities can charge you for assisting an individual to escape from lawful custody or confinement at any point of their plan, which includes its inception.

Helping a person to escape confinement or custody is a class 1 misdemeanor, especially if the offender was also charged with a petty or misdemeanor offense. You can receive a penalty of at least 18 months in jail or a fine of about $5,000. But if the offender you assisted to escape was convicted of a felony of class 3, you can also face a class 3 felony. In such a case, you can receive a penalty of about 12 years in prison or a fine of about $750,000. Assisting an offender who was convicted of either a class 1 or 2 felony can lead to 24 years in prison or a fine of at least $1,000,000. 

Hiring a defense lawyer for resisting arrest charges

If you or someone else you know is charged with resisting arrest, you must contact a reputable attorney to help you. The good thing is that you can get attorneys with experience in resisting arrest defense. Because they have a passion for defense and many years of experience, lawyers understand what it can take to defend against a resisting arrest crime. A good attorney needs to know procedures for law enforcement and detainment properly. This helps them to create a defense that can save their freedom. 

It’s important to take charge of your case and feel confident when you go to court. Ideally, an attorney should start preparing your case right away when you contact them. In most cases, they can sit with you to discuss your charges. Also, they can start strategizing on the right steps to deal with your specific charges.  

You should never resist even an unlawful arrest in Colorado. The truth is that whether you like it or not, the police officer has a better position of power than any ordinary person. You can only protect your rights once you get into the courtroom after they are booked, fingerprinted, and you have bailed. Simply put, you should not resist arrest regardless of whether or not you believe that the arrest is illegal. From the time they are handcuffing you, allow the police officer to be in control. This is because resisting arrest cannot stop the arrest. Instead, resisting arrest can endanger you, the office, and everyone else around you. Worse still, it can lead to some serious physical injuries or even death for all people involved. 

Keep in mind that resisting arrest puts you at risk of injury. And, if you survive regardless of whether you were right about the arrest illegality, they can still charge you with resisting arrest. This is a second-degree assault charge on a police officer. Resisting arrest like pulling away is often a misdemeanor. There are also other times when an officer can help you by avoiding charges for this crime. But spitting or striking a police officer can lead to charges with quite a serious felony that needs mandatory prison.  

Further, practically, the police officers are trained to use a bit of violence to overpower any resistance from the arrestee. Because the officer arresting you cannot be persuaded using physical resistance to rescind their decision to arrest you, it makes sense to avoid resisting arrest.  

There are several things you need to do when a police officer is arresting you. Firstly, avoid answering questions other than the basic ones, such as your name, serial number, and rank. You should also be peaceful and polite at all times.  

Remember to do anything the police officer tells you. For instance, when they say put your hands behind you, you should do it quickly. Don’t argue with the police officer. If you want to answer questions and the police officer has already decided to make the arrest, then you should not protest your innocence. This is because you will just waste your time and effort and may make the situation even worse.

You can refuse to give consent to a search, but allow the police officer to search if they want to. While arresting you, they can search your body and tend to have the right to search your vehicle if they suspect anything. You should also not mouth off at the officer, even if you believe the arrest is illegal. Attempting to run away or resting arrest is usually considered by the jury as an admission of guilt. Lastly, you should allow your fingerprints and photographs to be taken whether or not you give your consent.

An experienced criminal defense attorney should always review your cases. Therefore, you should not say anything until you have contacted your attorney. No doubt, being searched, arrested, and jailed can be a traumatic event in your life. And, the police officers know that you may be confused, so they can try to take advantage of this because they understand that you are humiliated, embarrassed, and frightened. Hence, they know that there is a chance you may not be thinking clearly. You need to find a lawyer to review your case so that you can have a good picture of what happened and why the police officers are questioning you.

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