Resisting arrest is one of the most common misdemeanor offenses charged in the state of Illinois. Most arrested for this offense are initially approached by the police for some other type of conduct. For instance, police might be responding to an assault complaint. When the officer attempts to arrest someone and they refuse to put their hands behind their back or run away, they can be charged with resisting arrest.
Resisting arrest is a vaguely defined crime under Illinois law, encompassing a wide array of behavior and thus leading to a large number of arrests for the crime each year. This misdemeanor charge holds the potential for jail time, probation, monetary fines, community service and significant consequences for your future. Under certain circumstances, if injury occurs to the police officer, fire fighter, or correctional institution employee while you are resisting or obstructing, you can be charged with a felony offense. With the assistance of a skilled Chicago resisting arrest defense attorney, however, you can mount a strong defense against this charge.Zealous Defense against Resisting Arrest Charges
The criminal defense lawyers at The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg have decades of experience representing defendants against the charge of resisting arrest, along with numerous other serious crimes. Our attorney team extensively investigates each case and, armed with this knowledge, mounts a fervent defense. The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg has successfully obtained acquittals for several clients charged with resisting arrest as well as favorable plea deals.An Overview of the Crime of Resisting Arrest in Illinois
The crime of “resisting or obstructing a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee” is defined in 720 ILCS 5/31-1. Under the statute, an individual commits the crime of resisting arrest if they knowingly resist or obstruct the performance by a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee of any authorized act within his or her official capacity.
The statute further defines correctional institution employee as essentially any person employed to supervise and control inmates, whether they be in jail or awaiting a bail setting. Firefighters include anyone employed by the Office of the State Fire Marshal to conduct arson investigations.
As is evident from the language of the statute, the crime of resisting or obstructing an officer is extremely broad. It encompasses any sort of behavior that interferes with performance of a duty. This makes it a commonly charged crime, leading to thousands of arrests each year. Resisting arrest can take many forms, but most often involves a person who refuses to peacefully consent to arrest. All individuals are required to obey an arresting officer and allow themselves to be arrested without a fight. Clearly, when a defendant runs away, strikes an officer, or eludes the police, they can be charged with resisting arrest. Other actions that give rise to the charge are less obvious, however. Individuals are sometimes charged with this crime after merely pulling their hands away slightly while being handcuffed, refusing to put one’s hands behind their back, refusing to lay down on the ground, refusing to put hands on the squad car, and the like. Sometimes, the original charge lobbed against the defendant is later found to be lacking in probable cause. However, this will not serve as a valid defense against the charge of resisting arrest.
Obstructing police, on the other hand, generally involves getting in the way of police officers or firefighters. For instance, when police officers are investigating a crime scene and people begin gathering in a manner that makes the investigation more difficult, they may be charged with obstructing the police if they do not clear the scene when instructed to do so. Further, providing the police with false information or hiding important evidence can be considered obstruction as well.Punishments for Resisting Arrest
Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, or both. A sentence of supervision is not available for this crime, making the minimum sentence a conviction which will create a permanent record that cannot be expunged. An experienced attorney can often get these charges reduced so that a conviction is not mandatory.
720 ILCS 5/31-1 additionally requires that anyone convicted of the crime be incarcerated for at least 48 hours and perform no less than 100 hours of community service.
If a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee is injured due to the defendant’s attempts to resist or obstruct, it will be considered a Class 4 felony. A Class 4 felony is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
In addition to possible jail time, fines, fees and court costs, and community service, a misdemeanor conviction for resisting arrest could lengthen your sentence if you are ever convicted of a subsequent offense. Accordingly, anyone charged with the crime should take it seriously and consult with a knowledgeable defense attorney as soon as possible to maximize your chances of a successful defense.Quick Action is Necessary to Defend Against Resisting Arrest Charges
Those charged with resisting arrest should secure the representation of an experienced resisting arrest defense attorney as soon as possible after the arrest. The sooner you obtain a skilled criminal lawyer, the more effective investigations will be and the stronger the defense you can mount. Your defense attorney will immediately investigate the circumstances surrounding the charge, including interviewing witnesses who may have seen you arrested and subpoenaing the police car video as well as any traffic camera film or security footage. Armed with knowledge of the events of the arrest, we can advise you as to the best course of action. We may also move to have the charges dismissed, fight them at trial, or skillfully negotiate a strong plea deal. The important thing is to act quickly so that your best defense can be crafted.The Law Offices of David L. Freidberg: Providing Aggressive Defense against Resisting Arrest Charges
Chicago criminal defense attorney David L. Freidberg has more than 20 years experience representing clients who have been charged with resisting arrest and other obstruction charges. Our criminal defense attorneys have an unmatched understanding of the laws concerning the crime of resisting arrest and the possible defenses. Seasoned defense attorney David L. Freidberg will investigate every pertinent fact of your case, often uncovering vital exculpatory evidence. Our office will mount a zealous defense with the intent of achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. The nature of the defense will vary depending upon your specific case, but we will often move to have the charges dropped based on lack of evidence. We defend against misdemeanor charges the same as we would a felony charge, because we know the serious repercussions even a misdemeanor charge can have on your life and livelihood.
Facing any criminal charge can be frightening, but with the skilled representation of attorney David L. Freidberg, you can rest assured that your case will be defended to the fullest extent. David L. Freidberg has successfully defended thousands of clients and will aggressively fight for your freedom. Contact us or call us today at (312) 560-7100 or toll free at 1 (800) 803-1442 to schedule your free consultation today. As always, we are available 24/7 for your convenience.