When Can You Be Accused of Resisting Arrest in NYC?

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When Can You Be Accused of Resisting Arrest in NYC?


Resisting arrest, or being charged with resisting arrest, can complicate any criminal case. Here’s what you need to know.

In New York, you can be charged with resisting arrest any time police believe you have intentionally attempted to prevent a police officer or a peace officer from arresting either yourself, or another person. It is rarely a stand-along charge, but is, instead, usually found alongside the original charges that caused police to arrest the defendant in the first place. 

A resisting arrest charge is a Class A misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to one year in prison in addition to whatever sentence the original charge carries.

What counts as resisting arrest?

Any activity which interferes with the arrest could lead to a charge of resisting arrest. The most common actions are:

  • Pulling away from police officers
  • Refusing to follow verbal instructions
  • Spitting 
  • Fighting, pushing, or shoving
  • Refusing to place hands behind your back to be handcuffed

While it is not a crime to speak harshly to a police officer, or to swear at one, while being arrested, it’s dangerous. Police don’t need a lot of excuses to claim that you were resisting arrest. In addition, video of your arrest can be shown to a jury. Swearing and screaming rarely helps your case later. Screaming and shouting may even be read as a waiver of your right to remain silent until you remember to formally invoke your rights once more. That means the police will feel free to start interrogating you, and you could run into trouble if you forget to invoke your right to remain silent and your right to an attorney. 

Why is a resisting arrest charge so problematic?

One reason a resisting arrest charge is problematic is you can be convicted of this crime even if you are acquitted for every other crime you were charged for at the time. If this happens you would still serve some jail time and you’d still have a criminal record, which means you’d continue to deal with all of the complications revolving around employment and housing that plague most criminal defendants. 

It’s also often a lot harder to disprove as in many cases it will be your word against the peace officer’s. 

In trouble? Need help? Contact us today. 

Despite the difficulties associated with a resisting arrest charge, Greco Neyland can help. With have extensive experience with these sorts of charges and are prepared to help you offer a strong defense.

If you’re in trouble, don’t wait. Contact us to get help today.

See also:

What Happens at an NYC DUI Traffic Stop? 

How Long Does a Criminal Case Take in New York?

Does the DA Prosecute Minor Crimes in Manhattan?

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