In Pennsylvania, a person is sometimes arrested and charged with this crime for doing anything contrary to the officer’s instructions – even asking questions of the officer! Of course fighting, delaying, and obstructing a peace officer’s duties can also be charged under this statute. Prosecutors take these charges seriously, sometimes for the purpose of protecting a police officer from an excessive force lawsuit. This can be a nightmare scenario for an accused!
§ 5104. Resisting arrest or other law enforcement.
A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if, with
the intent of preventing a public servant from effecting a
lawful arrest or discharging any other duty, the person creates
a substantial risk of bodily injury to the public servant or
anyone else, or employs means justifying or requiring
substantial force to overcome the resistance.
If you’ve been charged with resisting arrest, it’s important to know that there are a number of effective defenses to these offenses. In order for someone to be found guilty, for example, the officer must have been acting lawfully, and must not have used excessive force. A skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney can flip the script and make it seem like the officer is on trial, instead of you!
I have significant experience dealing with resisting arrest charges. If you’ve been arrested or charged with resisting, I can help you.