Thinking of Resisting Arrest? Consider the Consequences First
Sometimes a law enforcement officer is able to arrest an individual and take that person into custody without any protest from the person being arrested. But sometimes, law enforcement officers have a bit more trouble getting someone placed in handcuffs. Such was the case with one suspect who allegedly struggled with police as they attempted to arrest him for refusing to leave a convenience store after allegedly acting disruptive therein. As the man reportedly struggled against police officers who were trying to arrest him, the man allegedly struck one officer, causing a knee injury.
Resisting Arrest is Rarely a Good Idea
No one likes being arrested – it is a terribly embarrassing, disruptive, and traumatic experience. These negative emotions and feelings are only intensified when the person being arrested feels that the law enforcement officer is acting unprofessionally, is profiling the person, or does not have a lawful reason to arrest the person. But here are several reasons why resisting arrest is a bad idea:
- An officer does not need to know with certainty in order to arrest you for a serious crime: having “probable cause” – a relatively few number of objective facts – to believe you have committed, are in the process of committing a crime, or are about to commit a crime is sufficient justification to arrest you. You may be innocent of the alleged offense, but that does not mean the officer does not have a legal basis to arrest you.
- Even a slight strike to the officer’s person can be the basis for a battery charge. If the officer claims he or she suffered great bodily harm or if you have a weapon in your possession, aggravated battery charges can be filed. And because the battery or aggravated battery was committed against a law enforcement officer, the possible penalties and consequences are that much greater.
- Depending on your specific case, your resistance of police authority can be spun to show (perhaps) that you are aggressive and combative – which can be especially harmful if you are charged with a violent offense and are arguing that you acted in self-defense.
Instead, follow these tips when you are being arrested to protect yourself and your legal rights:
- Comply with the officer’s lawful commands (an unlawful command would be one in which you are asked to commit a crime). Try not to escalate the situation by yelling at the officer, taunting the officer, or making sudden movements.
- Consider requesting an attorney before speaking with police or making any statements to them, as these uncounseled statements about what you claimed happened are rarely helpful to your plight initially and can hurt your criminal defense strategy; and
- Talk with your attorney about how police misconduct may affect the admissibility of evidence in your case and/or may be remedied through a civil rights lawsuit.
Attorney Jeffrey S. Weiner is a Miami criminal defense attorney with years of experience helping Florida residents charged with serious crimes. Contact him right away after being arrested for prompt and experienced legal counsel and assistance.