Resisting arrest in New York is a serious crime that can lead to severe legal consequences. In New York, resisting arrest can result in fines, imprisonment, and a criminal record that can haunt you for years. As such, it’s essential to understand what constitutes resisting arrest and the legal implications of this offense.
In this post, Eastcoastlaws.com will explore the laws surrounding resisting arrest in New York and what you can do if you’re facing charges. We will also examine the potential defenses available to individuals who have been accused of resisting arrest and the steps you can take to protect your rights in this situation. Whether you are a New York resident or just visiting the state, it’s critical to be aware of the laws surrounding resisting arrest and how to navigate a legal situation if you find yourself facing charges.
What Is Resisting Arrest?
Resisting arrest is a crime that occurs when an individual actively resists or obstructs a police officer or law enforcement official in the performance of their duties. This can include physical resistance, such as struggling or fighting back against an officer attempting to make an arrest, or non-physical resistance, such as providing false information or refusing to comply with lawful orders. In New York, resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor, which can result in up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. In some cases, resisting arrest may be charged as a felony, depending on the severity of the offense or if the individual is believed to have used a weapon or caused harm to the officer. It’s essential to understand that even if an arrest is deemed unlawful, resisting arrest is still a crime under New York law.
Because it often occurs when the police attempt to arrest someone for a specific crime and that person subsequently resists the arrest, resisting arrest is frequently, although not always, charged alongside another offense. For instance, John Doe can be charged with both DWI and resisting arrest if he pulls away from the police while being detained for DWI and refuses to put his hands behind his back.
Any other charges must be established independently from the charge of resisting arrest. Therefore, the prosecution must demonstrate that John resisted arrest if it is claimed that he was operating a vehicle while inebriated in the case mentioned above. If a jury finds that John was not intoxicated, the prosecution may nevertheless succeed in having him found guilty of resisting arrest if they can persuade them that John refused to put his hands behind his back.
Even if all you’re doing is trying to stop the police from arresting someone else, resisting arrest is still punishable by law. You might be charged with resisting arrest if, for instance, you observe your friend Ralph being handcuffed and you rush over to push the cops away from Ralph because you unreasonably tried to prevent them from arresting your friend.
Furthermore, even if you are not guilty of the offense for which you are being detained, you could still face charges for resisting arrest. For instance, even if it is later shown that you did not rob the bank, you may still be imprisoned and convicted of resisting arrest if someone phones the police and falsely reports that you robbed a bank.
Resisting Arrest: What Not To Do
The fact that the accused just needs to take a few steps to meet the requirements of PL 205.30 provides the police the “upper hand” when charges of resisting arrest. For instance, it would be sufficient to show that you committed this class “A” misdemeanor if you flail your arms or hold them up so that you cannot be handcuffed. Violence is not required of you. However, if you deliberately try to prevent the police from legitimately placing you under arrest, do not be shocked if you find yourself in front of a criminal court judge being charged with breaking NY PL 205.30. Of course, the particular facts of your case must be examined.
Although it should not be taken as legal counsel and you should speak with your own Resisting Arrest defense attorney for that purpose, getting physically belligerent or aggressive is not the solution if you believe your arrest was unlawful. Consider your rights. If those rights are violated, it is best to pursue your options with the help of legal counsel rather than in the heat of the moment.
Resisting Arrest In New York Penalties
Resisting arrest is a Class A misdemeanor in New York, punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Depending on the seriousness of the offense, whether the person is suspected of using a weapon or endangering the officer, or any other circumstances, resisting arrest may occasionally be charged as a felony. It is crucial to realize that fighting an arrest is still a criminal in New York even if the arrest was deemed illegal.
- Up to 364 days in jail
- Probation for 2-3 years
- Up to $1,000 fine per class A misdemeanor
- Permanent criminal record
Legal Defense Strategies For Resisting Arrest Charges
If an individual is facing charges of resisting arrest in New York, there are several legal defense strategies that can be used to challenge the charges. Here are a few examples:
- Challenging the Evidence: In order to convict an individual of resisting arrest, the prosecution must prove that the individual knew that the person attempting to arrest them was a law enforcement officer and that they used force or violence to resist the arrest. If the prosecution cannot provide sufficient evidence to support these elements of the crime, the charges may be dismissed.
- Excessive Force: If law enforcement officers used excessive force during the arrest, this can be used as a defense against charges of resisting arrest. For example, if the officer used a chokehold, taser, or other form of excessive force that was not necessary to effectuate the arrest, the individual may have been justified in resisting the arrest in self-defense.
- Unlawful Arrest: If the arrest was unlawful or unconstitutional, this can be used as a defense against charges of resisting arrest. For example, if the officer did not have a valid warrant, probable cause, or reasonable suspicion to arrest the individual, the arrest may be considered unlawful and any resistance to the arrest may be considered justifiable.
- Mental Incapacity: If an individual was suffering from a mental health condition or other incapacity at the time of the arrest, this may be used as a defense against charges of resisting arrest. For example, if an individual did not understand that they were being arrested or did not have the capacity to control their behavior, this may be considered a mitigating factor in the case.
- False Accusation: In some cases, individuals may be falsely accused of resisting arrest in order to cover up excessive force or other misconduct by law enforcement officers. An experienced criminal defense attorney can investigate the circumstances of the arrest and determine whether there is evidence to support a false accusation defense.
Ultimately, the legal defense strategy used will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. It is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to determine the best course of action for your case.
Understanding Police Brutality And Resisting Arrest
Police brutality and resisting arrest can be intertwined in situations where excessive force is used by law enforcement officers during an arrest. While resisting arrest is a criminal offense that can carry penalties in New York, it is important to understand that individuals have the right to protect themselves from excessive force by law enforcement officers.
Police brutality refers to the use of excessive force by law enforcement officers, which can include physical violence, verbal abuse, and other forms of intimidation. When police brutality occurs, it can lead to individuals resisting arrest in an attempt to protect themselves from harm. Unfortunately, this can often result in further violence by law enforcement officers, leading to a dangerous cycle of escalation.
It is important to note that not all instances of resisting arrest are due to police brutality. Some individuals may resist arrest because they believe they are innocent of the charges against them or they may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. However, it is important for law enforcement officers to use appropriate levels of force during an arrest and to avoid using excessive force or violence.
In situations where police brutality is suspected, individuals have legal recourse available to them. They can file a complaint with the relevant law enforcement agency, or they can file a lawsuit against the officers involved. It is important for individuals to document any evidence of police brutality, such as photographs or witness statements, in order to support their claims.
In cases where an individual is facing charges of resisting arrest, it is important to seek the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help to build a defense strategy that challenges the evidence against the accused or argues that the officer used excessive force during the arrest. Ultimately, it is important to hold law enforcement officers accountable for their actions and to ensure that individuals are protected from police brutality during an arrest.
The Impact Of Resisting Arrest On Criminal Cases
Resisting arrest can have a significant impact on criminal cases in New York. In addition to the potential penalties for the resisting arrest charge itself, a conviction for resisting arrest can also impact other criminal charges that an individual may be facing. Here are some ways in which resisting arrest can impact criminal cases:
- Increased Penalties: Resisting arrest is a criminal offense that can carry penalties in New York. If an individual is convicted of resisting arrest, they may face fines, probation, or even imprisonment. Additionally, the penalties for other criminal charges may be increased if an individual is convicted of resisting arrest in connection with those charges.
- Difficulty Negotiating Plea Bargains: If an individual is facing multiple criminal charges, prosecutors may be less willing to negotiate plea bargains if there is a resisting arrest charge involved. Prosecutors may view resisting arrest as an indication that the individual is uncooperative or may pose a risk to law enforcement officers in the future.
- Negative Impact on Trial: If an individual goes to trial for their criminal charges, a resisting arrest charge can have a negative impact on their case. Jurors may view the individual as uncooperative or aggressive, which can make it more difficult for the defense to present their case effectively.
- Increased Scrutiny: Individuals who are facing charges of resisting arrest may be subject to increased scrutiny by law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges. This can make it more difficult to negotiate plea bargains or secure a favorable outcome in court.
- Negative Impact on Future Opportunities: A conviction for resisting arrest can have a negative impact on an individual’s future opportunities, including employment, education, and housing. It can also impact an individual’s ability to obtain professional licenses or security clearances.
It is important to note that resisting arrest is a serious offense that should be taken seriously. If you are facing charges of resisting arrest, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can help you navigate the legal system and protect your rights.
Hiring A New York Lawyer for Resisting Arrest Cases
If you are facing charges of resisting arrest in New York, it is important to hire a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand your rights, navigate the legal system, and work to protect your interests. Here are some factors to consider when hiring a lawyer for resisting arrest cases:
- Experience: Look for a lawyer who has extensive experience defending clients against charges of resisting arrest in New York. An experienced lawyer will understand the legal system and can develop a strong defense strategy that is tailored to your specific circumstances.
- Knowledge of the Law: Your lawyer should have a thorough understanding of the New York Penal Law, as well as other relevant state and federal laws. This knowledge will help them identify potential defenses and develop a strong legal argument in your favor.
- Communication Skills: Your lawyer should be able to communicate effectively with you throughout the legal process, explaining complex legal concepts in a way that is easy to understand. They should also be able to communicate effectively with judges, prosecutors, and other legal professionals.
- Reputation: Look for a lawyer with a strong reputation in the legal community. A lawyer who is well-respected can be more effective in negotiating with prosecutors and securing favorable outcomes for their clients.
- Availability: Make sure your lawyer is available to answer your questions and provide updates on your case. You want a lawyer who will be responsive to your needs and who will keep you informed throughout the legal process.
- Cost: The cost of legal representation can vary widely depending on the lawyer’s experience, reputation, and other factors. Make sure you understand the lawyer’s fee structure and any other costs associated with their services before you hire them.
Ultimately, the most important factor when hiring a lawyer for resisting arrest cases is finding someone who you feel comfortable working with and who you trust to represent your interests effectively. Take the time to research potential lawyers, read reviews from past clients, and schedule consultations to discuss your case and get a sense of their approach to defending clients against resisting arrest charges.