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Demystifying what it means to resist arrest

When you watch television or movies, you might hear police officers accuse someone of resisting arrest when they are arresting them on drug charges. This might seem like it is a way for police officers to make life more difficult for someone who doesn't immediately respond like the officer wants them to. Some officers might take this course, but many officers don't want to accuse a person of resisting arrest until there is evidence that this is what was going on in a situation.

The fact of the matter is that resisting arrest is a crime that has specific elements that must be met in order for it to stick. Just to be clear, officers might arrest you with a claim that you resisted arrest if they think that you weren't complying with them right away, but this doesn't mean that you actually resisted.

One thing that has to be present if you were resisting arrest is that you have to know that your actions must have the intent to prevent or delay an officer from making an arrest that is lawful. This can include giving the officer false personal information or struggling with the officer who is placing you under arrest. It can also occur if you make the officer drag you or carry you during the process of the arrest.

Resisting arrest is a charge that has several different defenses, just like charges for drug crimes. You have to take the circumstances into account when you try to determine what defense you are going to use. You might claim that there was a factual error or that you were acting in self-defense. Other options might be possible, so you should look into each one individually to determine how it might affect your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Resisting Arrest," accessed Oct. 19, 2017

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