What to Do If You’ve Been Accused of Resisting Arrest

Being accused of resisting arrest is a serious legal matter with significant consequences. Resisting arrest involves intentionally obstructing or opposing a law enforcement officer’s attempt to perform a lawful arrest. If you find yourself facing such an accusation, it’s vital to understand your rights and take the appropriate steps to protect your interests.

Working with an experienced Maryland traffic and criminal attorney can help you build a strong defense strategy, such as challenging the legality of the arrest, questioning the officer’s actions or credibility, or presenting evidence that supports your innocence or justifies your actions. At The Law Office of Hillel Traub, Attorney Hillel Traub has over 30 years of experience and is prepared to fight for you.

What is Resisting Arrest?

Under Maryland Criminal Law Code § 9-408, you may not intentionally resist a lawful arrest or interfere with a police officer making or attempting to make a lawful arrest of another person.

It’s important to note that resisting arrest does not include the following:

  • Slowly responding to an officer
  • Asking why you are being arrested
  • Verbally insulting or swearing at an arresting officer

If you’ve been accused of resisting arrest, take the following steps:

1. Stay Calm and Comply With Instructions

During any encounter with law enforcement, it is important to stay composed. If you are being arrested or detained, comply with the officer’s instructions to avoid escalating the situation further. Resisting arrest, even if you believe it to be unjust, can lead to additional charges that may potentially worsen your legal position.

2. Invoke Your Right to Remain Silent

Once you have been placed under arrest, remember that you have the right to be silent. Anything you say can be used against you. Politely and respectfully inform the officer that you wish to be silent and would like to speak with an attorney before answering questions.

3. Document the Incident

If possible, try to document the incident as thoroughly as you can. If there were witnesses present, collect their contact information, as their statements may be valuable in building your defense. Additionally, if you sustained injuries during the arrest, seek medical attention and hang on to any medical records.

4. Obtain Legal Representation

Consulting an experienced lawyer is essential when facing charges of resisting arrest. A lawyer can provide invaluable guidance and protect your rights during the legal process. Our lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub can help evaluate the circumstances surrounding your arrest, examine the evidence against you, and work to develop an effective defense strategy tailored to your case.

5. Gather Evidence and Witness Statements

Your lawyer will work with you to gather evidence that supports your defense. This may include obtaining any available video footage, interviewing witnesses, and collecting other relevant evidence that can challenge the prosecution’s version of events.

5 Legal Defenses for Resisting Arrest

Legal defenses for resisting arrest can vary depending on the circumstances of your case. The following are some common defenses that may be used to diminish or drop your charges:

  • Lack of probable cause: If the police officer didn’t have probable cause to arrest you in the first place, it may be a viable defense.
  • Self-defense: If you reasonably believe the arresting officer was using excessive force or engaging in unlawful conduct, you may have acted in self-defense.
  • Unlawful arrest: If the arresting officer violated your constitutional rights, had no right to arrest you, or engaged in misconduct during the arrest, it may be possible to argue the arrest itself was unlawful.
  • Mistaken identity: If you can demonstrate you were mistakenly identified as the person the officer intended to arrest, it may also be a valid defense.
  • Lack of intent: Resisting arrest charges typically require proof that you were intentionally obstructed or opposed to the arresting officer. If you can show your actions were accidental, involuntary, or the result of confusion or fear, it may weaken the prosecutor’s case.

Consulting with an experienced defense lawyer is essential to determine the most appropriate defense strategy based on the facts of your case.

Contact a Resisting Arrest Lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub

If you have been accused of resisting arrest, you should seek the legal counsel and representation of a skilled defense lawyer at The Law Office of Hillel Traub to navigate the complex legal system and protect your rights effectively.

As a former lawyer for the MVA, Attorney Hillel Traub is prepared to fight for the justice you deserve. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling (410) 580-1100 or filling out our contact form.