When you find yourself in a confusing situation, you may not know the best way to react. This type of incident may be relatively minor, or it could be part of a bigger predicament. If you are involved in an event that results in police coming to the scene, you could feel panicked and wonder how the situation could affect you.
Though you may feel you did not do anything wrong, an officer may still feel the need to question you or detain you. In an instinctual move, you may find yourself hesitating before doing what an officer asks of you. You may still think you have not done anything wrong, but if your behavior causes police to believe you are attempting to interfere with their actions, they may charge you with resisting arrest.
You may find it hard to believe that you could face a resisting arrest charge when an officer did not try to place you under arrest in the first place, but the possibility does exist. However, you typically have to have interfered with the officer's official duties in some way. For instance, if you begin trying to fight an officer or otherwise cause him or her harm, the officer may place you under arrest.
Of course, in order for a guilty verdict for such a charge to come against you, the prosecution must prove that guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. For this to happen, one must prove the following elements of the crime:
- You knew or should have known that the person you allegedly interfered with was a police officer.
- The police officer conducted him or herself in a lawful manner.
- You knowingly resisted arrest.
If evidence of these elements does not exist or does not prove guilt, the court could consider you innocent.
Types of resistance
As mentioned, you may not even consider your actions as resistant or as causing an interference. However, even if you simply stood in an officer's way, you could potentially face a charge. Generally, though, more serious actions constitute resisting arrest, including:
- Fighting an officer as he or she attempts to make an arrest
- Providing false information
- Purposefully refusing to move or otherwise causing an officer to carry or drag you
If you find yourself dealing with charges for resisting arrest, you may wish to consider your best options for defending against those allegations. Information on various defense strategies could help you determine your best courses of action.