No one wants to experience being arrested. That’s why it is a normal reaction to resist an arrest, especially if there’s no given basis for the arrest. But before you try to fight while the police officer is arresting you, think again.
Ideally, you can peacefully come with the arresting officer to avoid any legal implications against you. Then call a professional defense attorney and bail bonds Broomfield to have the best legal action.
In Colorado, resisting an arrest of a police officer violates the law. Here’s are the things you have to know about this law, your rights, and how to defend yourself against it.
What is Resisting Arrest?
Colorado Revised Statutes section 18-8-103 states that “a person commits resisting arrest if he knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent a peace officer, acting under color of his official authority, from effecting an arrest of the actor or another, by:
(a) Using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the peace officer or another; or
(b) Using any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the peace officer or another.”
Therefore, the law clearly states that the person can be charged with resisting arrest if he inflicts physical force on the authorities, threatened to apply physical force, or otherwise can cause a high risk that others will get harm.
Some examples of resisting arrest are:
- An arrestee who is threatening the officer to kill his family unless he was released.
- An arrestee kicking or punching the officer during the arrest.
- A rioter is instructing the crowd to hurt the police officer while handcuffing another person.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest
Under Colorado law, resisting arrest falls into class 2 misdemeanor. This sentence includes 3 to 12 months of jail time and/or a $250 to $1,000 fine. And if the defendant does not have a prior history, his jail time can be replaced with probation. Additionally, bail bonds Broomfield can be used in misdemeanor resisting arrest offense.
On the other hand, if the charge was escalated to felony resisting arrest. The offender will face the following penalties:
- Incarceration. It may involve jail time in the county jail or another year in state prison. The court may order that the defendant has to serve his full sentence in jail.
- Fines. Aside from the jail time, the court asks the defendant to pay fines as a penalty. Fines depend on the circumstances, but it usually starts at $1,000. Fines are needed to maintain the criminal justice system.
- Probation. A defendant has the chance to serve his remaining sentence on probation. But the convict needs to meet his probation officer regularly and follow other conditions such as keeping a job and attending counseling.
- Community Service. Along with other conditions during probation is the requirement of the defendant to volunteer to the court-approved charities.
Felony Resisting Arrest
As simple as running and hiding from a police officer can be a misdemeanor, resisting arrest since it is obstructing the arrest. However, it can be a felony if the prosecution has proven the main elements of resisting arrest. The judge can still grant the defendant bail bonds Broomfield Colorado depending on compelling factors.
Things that the prosecution needs to prove in felony resisting arrest are:
- There is an intention to resist or obstruct the law enforcer, but if its intention to resist causes harm to others, it can be a felony charge.
- The defendant acted violently or threatened to act violently towards a police officer.
Legal Defenses for Resisting Arrest
Like in many criminal charges, the accused person has the right to defend himself against these charges. The following are the possible legal defenses that can be used during the trial.
- Self-defense against excessive force. The accused person can use this defense even if the arrest is legal. Police officers are not allowed to use excessive or unnecessary force in making the arrest.
- Lack of Knowledge. If the police officer is not identifiable because he was not in uniform at the time of an arrest, that could be a good defense against the charge.
- Lack of Intent. The defense attorney has to prove to the court that the defendant has no intention to resist the arrest.
What is Unlawful Arrest?
An unlawful arrest occurs if it is not authorized by law. It could happen if the arrest is without a warrant or probable cause. However, the person still needs to cooperate even if the arrest is unlawful. What the arrestee can do is file a court motion regarding the unlawful arrest.
Procedures for Making an Arrest
Everyone has the right – even the defendant. Therefore, police officers have to follow certain conditions in making an arrest so that our rights remain protected.
These procedures might be different from one department to another. They could add some extra procedures to protect police’s safety, help the authorities document the arrest, or avoid legal mistakes that could ruin the prosecution’s case.
Here are the general procedures of the police officers in making an arrest.
- When to Make An Arrest. There are limited circumstances wherein the police officers can make an arrest. Circumstances are (a) if the officer personally observed the crime, (b) has probable cause, and (c) has an arrest warrant issued by a judge.
- Requirements of the arrest. Police officers don’t have to use handcuffs or place the arrestee in a police cruiser, but those can be used to protect the police officers. Miranda rights have to be stated or read to the arrestee before questioning. Also, the arresting officers have no legal obligation to tell the arrestee the reason for the arrest.
Getting arrested for a criminal charge is something we do not want to experience. However, to avoid further legal damage, cooperating with the authorities is your best move especially during the arrest.