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How can you avoid a charge of resisting arrest?

If you have an encounter with the police, no matter how unfair you believe it is, it's essential to be polite and not physically or verbally threaten any officers in any way. That doesn't mean that you can't assert your legal rights. However, it's important to do so in a manner that doesn't make them feel threatened or have grounds to charge you with anything more than they may already planning to.

If you are already being arrested, and a police officer believes you are impeding that process, you may face a charge of resisting arrest in addition to the charge(s) for which you're already being arrested.

Resisting arrest in Maryland can include arguing with a police officer, refusing an officer's attempts to handcuff you or struggling with an officer who's putting you into a patrol car. Resisting arrest charges generally involve some amount of force against an officer. However, what one officer considers resistance, another may not.

Whatever other charges you're facing, you and your attorney can fight a charge of resisting arrest in Maryland by asserting that:

-- The arrest was unlawful.-- There was police misconduct.-- You didn't actually impede the arrest process.-- You were defending yourself against an unreasonable use of force by an officer.

Arrests are often no longer a matter of "he said/she said." There are dashboard cameras, body cameras and potentially bystanders with cellphones recording the whole thing. Such evidence can work for or against you, depending on what happened.

A resisting arrest charge is generally a misdemeanor that can put you behind bars for three years and result in a $5,000 fine. That's why it's important to fight that charge if you believe it is unfair. An experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney can help you.

Source: FindLaw, "Maryland Resisting Arrest Laws," accessed May 16, 2017

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