Resisting arrest or obstructing the police in arresting another person is illegal under New York law. According to § 205.30 of the New York Penal Code, a person is guilty of resisting arrest if he or she “intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer or peace officer from effecting an authorized arrest of himself or another person.”
Resisting arrest is a class A misdemeanor in New York. If a person is convicted of resisting arrest, they can be subject to the following:
- Up to one year in prison or three years on probation, and/or,
- A fine of up to $1,000
Additional charges to a resisting arrest charge can also be filed depending on the circumstances of the arrest. A person can also be charged with disorderly conduct or assault. Before you make any decisions, it is important to speak with a qualified Manhattan criminal attorney.
Lebedin Kofman Case Result
People V. J.
Our client was charged with forcible touching, resisting arrest, and sexual abuse in the third degree in New York County criminal court in Manhattan. Lebedin Kofman defended this case for almost 2 years and would not accept any plea deal. These cases are very difficult in New York County as the prosecutors generally will not allow a deal without the client getting a criminal record. As our client was totally innocent, we could not allow that to happen. We were able to secure a full DISMISSAL of all charges for our very happy client in this case!
1 PL 130.52(1)
2 PL 130.52(2)
3 PL 205.30
4 PL 130.55
Forcible Touching (defendant #1: 1 count)
Resisting Arrest (defendant #1: 1 count)
Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree (defendant #1: 1 count)
Resisting Arrest Under PL 205.30
The law on resisting arrest was created as a deterrent to help protect police against individuals who might want to flee or fight back in the process of getting arrested. It also helps ensure that the process of legal arrests goes as smoothly as possible given that they can be stress and anxiety-inducing situations. However, complications might ensue when the defendant acts out in the heat of the moment, regardless of how simple or insignificant their actions are.
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut way in which resisting arrest can be defined. It does not take much for a police or peace officer to accuse a defendant of resisting arrest and the act is up for interpretation by the arresting party. A defendant can verbally protest or object to the arrest but, even without actively fleeing, conducting any form of physical struggle or disagreement uncooperative to the arrest can count as resistance. A charge of resisting arrest can be filed against a defendant regardless of the conduct of the resistance, even if it was merely pushing a police officer away or raising their hands to prevent being handcuffed.
It may be tempting to protest being charged with resisting arrest in addition to underlying charges that caused the arrest in the first place but you should not act rashly in the heat of the moment. You have rights under the law but you may be able to have more success defending those rights with the presence and help of legal counsel.
How Can One Get Charges Of Resisting Arrest In New York Dismissed?
It is important to note that even if the original charges that caused the reason for the arrest are dismissed, the charge of resisting arrest may still stand alone. Getting the help of an experienced New York resisting arrest attorney is essential in making sure that your rights are protected.
To convict a defendant on charges of resisting arrest in New York, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt the following elements:
- That the defendant intentionally and deliberately impeded, resisted, or obstructed a law enforcement officer from conducting a legal arrest
- That the defendant was aware that the person they were resisting or obstructing was a law enforcement officer
- That the law enforcement officer was engaged in the performance of their legal duties and acting lawfully
In the state of New York, law enforcement officers typically include police and peace officers. Security guards are considered private citizens and the laws on resisting arrest, therefore, do not apply to them.
Possible defenses to charges of resisting arrest are the following:
- Self-defense – Police officers are allowed to use force as necessary to accomplish an arrest. However, if an arresting officer acts violently, the person being arrested may protect themselves in self-defense, especially if their health is being threatened. As an act of self-defense, the person resisting arrest must have done so after the arresting officer initiated the aggression.
- Unlawful arrest – A person may be found not guilty of resisting arrest if the arrest was done unlawfully, meaning, without a warrant or probable cause. It is not advisable, however, to argue the legality of an arrest as it is happening especially if the officer is acting in their capacity lawfully. It would be better to determine the legality of arrest when you have legal counsel and help on your side.
These are just some defenses that may be useful to get charges of resisting arrest dismissed and should not be assumed as legal advice. It is crucial to note that each case is different and the circumstances of one case of resisting arrest may be significantly different from another.
Getting the help of an experienced New York City resisting arrest attorney
If you have been charged with an act of resisting arrest in New York City, Manhattan, or any of the surrounding boroughs, it is important to seek the help of a skilled criminal defense attorney. An attorney may be able to help you understand your rights under the law. Every defendant has rights that need to be protected.
At Lebedin Kofman LLP, we provide qualified legal counsel and aggressive representation to our clients. Our experienced New York City resisting arrest attorneys may be able to build a comprehensive legal strategy based on the specifics of your case. A conviction on charges of resisting arrest may have long-standing implications and consequences. Don’t leave your legal defense up to chance. Call us today at (646) 663-4430 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our New York City criminal defense attorneys.