Reports of suspects resisting arrest and dying in police custody have dominated the news lately. Some people may think that resisting arrest involves a physical altercation or talking back to a police officer. However, there can actually be many actions that qualify as resisting arrest, of which individuals may not even be aware. As in most states, this is considered a crime in Illinois, and the penalties are often steep. If you or someone you know is facing charges for resisting arrest, an experienced criminal defense attorney can advocate on your behalf to ensure your rights are protected.
Resisting Arrest Can Involve Many Acts
According to Illinois law, a person commits the crime of resisting arrest if he or she knowingly obstructs or disrupts a police officer, firefighter, or correctional facility employee from interfering with their official duties. However, the actual act of resisting or obstructing can be very broad and take many different forms. Therefore, is it a fairly common crime, resulting in thousands of arrests every year.
Resisting arrest typically involves a suspect who refuses to consent to an arrest. Anyone who is arrested is required by law to obey an arresting officer without putting up a fight. If a defendant runs away, hits an officer, or evades the police, he or she may be charged with resisting arrest. Other forms of resistance are less obvious and can include any of the following:
- Pulling hands away while a police officer is trying to put handcuffs on
- Refusal to put hands behind his or her back when asked to do so
- Refusal to lay on the ground per a police officer’s instructions
- Refusal to place hands on the police vehicle as instructed by a police officer
Illinois Punishments for Resisting Arrest
Resisting arrest in Illinois can range from a misdemeanor to a felony charge depending on the circumstances. A Class A misdemeanor carries a penalty of up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both. Supervision is not allowed for this crime, which means the minimum sentence results in a conviction, leaving a defendant with a lifelong criminal record that does not qualify for expungement. If a police officer, firefighter, or prison employee suffers an injury while the defendant tries to resist, it can be classified as a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine up to $25,000.
Defending Against a Resisting Arrest Charge
In some cases, it is possible that the charge for resisting arrest is later found to be lacking in probable cause. However, it is important to note that this alone cannot serve as a valid defense against the charge of resisting arrest. An attorney will investigate the arrest to uncover any exculpatory information, including interviewing any eyewitnesses who may have seen the arrest, In addition, a skilled legal team can subpoena the officer’s body cam or dashcam video and traffic camera or security footage. In some cases, improper police procedures were followed, and the charges can be dismissed. In other situations, a defendant can go to trial to fight the charges or negotiate a plea deal if that is the best course of action.
Contact a Wheaton Criminal Defense Attorney
Resisting arrest in Illinois can lead to significant consequences, including costly fines and jail time, which is why you should take it seriously. At Anderson Attorneys & Advisors, we understand how easily arrest situations can escalate and we can help you fight this criminal charge. Our qualified and diligent DuPage County criminal defense lawyers will carefully review the details of your case to defend your constitutional rights. Call our office today at 630-877-5800 to arrange a free consultation.