What Is Considered “Resisting Arrest”? | Criminal Defense Attorneys, Wichita
In Kansas, just like in any other state, law enforcement officers have the authority to make arrests when they believe a person has committed a crime. However, not everyone complies peacefully when faced with arrest. Some individuals may resist, intentionally or unintentionally, leading to further legal consequences. Our criminal defense attorneys in Wichita, Kansas, at the McConnell Law Firm, have years of experience defending criminal cases and are detailing what constitutes resisting arrest and the potential repercussions such actions may cause. Keep reading to learn more!
Defining “Resisting Arrest”
According to Kansas Statute, “a person is not authorized to use force to resist an arrest which such person knows is being made either by a law enforcement officer or by a private person summoned and directed by a law enforcement officer to make the arrest, even if the person arrested believes that the arrest is unlawful.”
Essentially, this means any action or behavior exhibited by a person that hinders or obstructs a law enforcement officer in the process of making a lawful arrest is considered resisting arrest, including attempting to evade the officer, using physical force, or refusing to cooperate with lawful commands. It is important to note that resisting arrest can occur even if the original arrest was unwarranted or unjustified; the focus is solely on the individual’s behavior during the arrest itself.
Examples of Resistance
“Resisting arrest is a broad category that includes anything making it more difficult for law enforcement to take you into custody,” said Jonathan W. McConnell, founding criminal defense attorney at the McConnell Law Firm. “Even something as simple as being told to put your hands behind your back, but then moving your arms or ‘fighting’ while being handcuffed can bring about an added charge.”
In Kansas, several actions can be considered as resisting arrest, including:
- Physical Resistance—When a person physically tries to prevent an officer from making an arrest, such as pulling away, pushing the officer, or engaging in any form of physical struggle, it is a very apparent example of resisting arrest.
- Verbal Resistance—Using threats, abusive language, or profanity towards an officer during the arrest can also be considered resisting arrest. This includes refusing to comply with verbal commands or attempting to intimidate the officer.
- Attempting to Flee—Trying to evade an officer’s attempt to arrest by running away or escaping can also lead to charges of resisting arrest.
- Passive Resistance—Resisting arrest does not always involve aggressive actions. Adopting a rigid posture or going limp to make it difficult for the officer to handcuff or detain you can be passive resistance.
- Interference—Intervening or attempting to interfere with the arrest of another person can also be construed as resisting arrest.
Understanding Penalties of a Conviction
In most cases, resisting arrest is classified as a misdemeanor offense, and if convicted, individuals may face fines, probation, community service, or even a short jail sentence. However, if the resistance involves a serious physical altercation or injury to the officer, the charges may be escalated to a felony, leading to more severe penalties, such as longer imprisonment terms and hefty fines. It is important to note that the consequences of resisting arrest extend beyond legal penalties and may also have a negative impact on any future legal proceedings related to the original crime that led to the arrest. Our violent crimes attorneys at the McConnell Law Firm encourage you to remain calm and cooperative, comply with the officer’s commands, and raise any concerns about the legitimacy of the charge later in court with the help of legal representation.
“Many times, these charges go hand in hand with assault and battery charges on law enforcement officers,” said McConnell. “Anything involving conduct against law enforcement officers is not looked at favorably by courts, which is why cooperation is the best way to avoid being charged.”
Have You Been Accused?
If you have recently been charged in a criminal case, we encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm as soon as possible. While every case is different, and no conclusions should be drawn without first consulting a Wichita violent crimes lawyer about the specifics of your case, it is always in your best interest to have a skilled attorney by your side from the beginning.
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Do you or a loved one need the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Wichita? We encourage you to contact the McConnell Law Firm at (316) 243-5903 for a free consultation.Contact Us
Jonathan W. McConnell and his team have become well-known for their expert knowledge and unmatched tenacity. They have been rated highly by the public and their peers on many prestigious legal directories and professional organizations.
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