These days, even small interactions with police officers can turn frightening very quickly, and Champaign residents who feel threatened by aggressive officers of the law may be compelled to resist or run away. Unfortunately, any action that can be viewed as a person trying to get away from or avoid a peace officer who is acting in an official capacity may be labeled as resisting arrest or obstructing justice by a prosecutor. If the accused’s actions result in the injury or death of an officer, he or she may face inflated penalties.
If you’ve been charged with resisting arrest, you may need to defend against two separate charges, the charge that initiated the arrest as well as the subsequent resisting arrest charge. This places even more emphasis on recruiting a talented attorney to help you fight both charges simultaneously.
At Bruno Law Offices, we understand how easily police encounters can escalate in Champaign and elsewhere. We want you to know that you don’t have to face resisting a peace officer charges in Champaign alone. Our Champaign criminal defense lawyers may be able to use our experience and knowledge to work for a favorable result from your case.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
If you face a resisting arrest charge, this charge likely accompanies another criminal charge. You need a defense attorney who can reduce the legal penalties that you encounter through investigating your situation and building a strong case. When you face prosecution, you deserve the knowledge and understanding of an attorney who cares about your future.
Resisting arrest can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. Misdemeanor resisting arrest includes actions such as running or hiding from law enforcement, whereas felony resisting arrest charges usually require that a person act violently toward the arresting officer. Regardless of the classification, resisting arrest is a serious charge and requires the attention and advice of a skilled attorney for the best possible outcome.
Why Choose Us?
Bruno Law Offices has been helping people throughout Illinois since 1980. As a family law firm, we pride ourselves on understanding what it means to serve the community. We are committed to applying our legal skills to support members of the city when they face serious criminal charges. At Bruno Law Offices we can handle not only your resisting arrest charge but any other subsequent charges as well. Since a resisting arrest charge is rarely a sole charge, we are ready to understand the full scope of your charges and help in any way that we can.
Having tried various criminal defense cases at both the state and federal level, we have a great deal of experience dealing with the differing laws and penalties that may be associated with your case. We have helped our clients win their case at trial, we have helped our clients get their charges reduced, and we have helped get our clients’ cases dismissed altogether. Our attorneys are ready to advocate for you. You should not attempt to take on this challenge alone, especially in resisting arrest cases, where there may be compounding charges against you.
Cases We Handle
Resisting arrest often refers to a situation where a person has interfered with law enforcement’s attempt to perform a lawful arrest. This is sometimes referred to as obstruction. Most often, resisting arrest is defined as the use of any amount of physical force in an attempt to prevent a police officer from handcuffing, arresting, and or transporting you to jail.
The Illinois criminal code does not offer a firm definition of resisting arrest, or what behavior may constitute a resisting arrest. However, in practice, any action that does not coincide with complete and total obedience to the arresting officer’s instruction may be considered resistance. Hence any of the following may be regarded as resisting arrest:
- Running from the police
- Pulling your hands away while being handcuffed
- Intentionally refusing to walk
- Struggling with a police officer
- Threatening a police officer while under arrest
Even what someone might consider a minimal amount of force can wind up, resulting in a resisting arrest charge.
Elements that Prosecutor Must Prove
A prosecutor must provide conclusive evidence for several aspects of a resisting arrest case. Some of which include:
- The defendant purposely resisted arrest, even if harm was not caused or intended. This does not cover accidents and or miscommunications from being used as a basis for prosecution.
- The defendant acted or threatened violence toward law enforcement. Any physical altercation satisfies this requirement.
- The officer was acting lawfully in their official duties. This means that the officer was engaged in their official duties when they came into contact with the person arrested for the crime, and the arrest was lawful in nature.
When you face charges, you need the support of a lawyer who understands how to protect your rights. Our attorneys have gone head to head with Illinois prosecutors and understand how to take them on in and out of the courtroom.
Defenses for Resisting a Peace Officer
In the event that you feel that you have been arrested unlawfully, it may be difficult to comply with the officers’ instructions fully. If you have not fully complied with the arresting officer’s instructions, you may very well face resisting arrest charges. However, there are several ways to challenge a resisting arrest charge.
- Self-defense: In the event, a police officer uses excessive force against you, you have the same right to self-defense as you would under any other circumstances. If you have proof, be it dash cam or body cam footage, to validate your self-defense claim then you may be acquitted of your resisting arrest charge.
- Unlawful Arrest – If an attorney can prove that the officer that conducted your arrest was not lawfully exercising their official duties at the time of the incident, then your case will be substantially stronger.
- You were not aware that you were resisting: A person can not be convicted of resisting arrest if they were not aware that they were being arrested by a police officer. This most often comes into play when the arresting officer is acting undercover, as undercover officers must still clearly identify themselves when making any form of arrest.
- Insufficient evidence – The prosecutor must prove the case against you beyond a reasonable doubt. If the available evidence does not satisfy this standard, it is likely that your charges will be dropped.
Every case is unique, and the best defense strategy will often vary on an individual basis and the circumstances of your arrest. No matter the specifics of your situation, a skilled lawyer can help offset the penalties you face. Reach out to a lawyer equipped to deal with all aspects of your case, fight your resisting arrest charge, and any other subsequent charges.
Penalties for Resisting a Peace Officer
As the specific circumstances of each situation will vary greatly from case to case, so too will defense strategy change to fit your particular needs. The Illinois penal code outlines potential punishments for individuals convicted of these charges. These punishments include:
- A minimum of 48 consecutive hours of imprisonment
- A minimum of 100 community service hours
If any extenuating circumstances resulted in injury or additional costs, the conviction penalties would additionally reflect this. Anyone facing charges of resisting a peace officer in Champaign should contact an attorney who can quickly work to reduce or eliminate the accusations brought against you.
Contact a Champaign Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If you are facing criminal charges of resisting a peace officer or obstructing justice in Champaign, do not hesitate to call the legal team at Bruno Law Offices. Our Champaign criminal defense attorneys may offer you critical legal advice and assistance throughout the entire legal process. Call our offices in Champaign at (217) 328-6000 today to learn how we may protect your rights and interests.