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What you picture as resisting arrest and what the courts think of as resisting arrest can be two very different things. You might think that you’re standing up for your rights, but you could still face this charge despite your belief.

If you’ve been charged with struggling against an arresting officer, you need a resisting arrest attorney in Richmond from the Pendleton Law Team to defend you. The courts take a very dim view of this crime and will not be on your side unless we can convince them otherwise.

Two Kinds of Resisting Arrest in Virgina

Resisting arrest is a state crime in Virginia. Richmond does not have its own statute. Under Virginia law, there are two kinds of resisting arrest. The first is when, during a lawful arrest, an officer tries to apply physical force to a suspect, and the suspect tries to get out of their sphere of control, like fleeing. 

The second is when, during a lawful arrest, the officer says that you are under arrest. Once you’re told that, you must do what the officer says. If you try to prevent the arrest from happening, even if you stay at the scene, you could be charged with this.

Note that the arrest must be lawful. This is one of the key points of a resisting arrest defense. If the arrest wasn’t lawful, the charge of resisting arrest must be dropped. The prosecution must prove they were within their authority to arrest you.

Possible Defenses in a Resisting Arrest Charge

Your Richmond resisting arrest attorney will listen to your story and develop a defense for you based on the circumstances. Here are some possibilities for defense against this charge:

  • You didn’t commit the crime you were arrested for
  • The officer did not have the authority to arrest you
  • The officer could not arrest you physically at the time (e.g. telling you that you’re arrested over the phone)
  • It was not clarified that you were not free to leave

You are permitted to use reasonable force against an unlawful arrest, or even a lawful arrest made with unreasonable force. However, in the heat of the moment, you likely won’t know if the arrest of the level of force is unlawful. That’s for the courts to decide and for your criminal defense lawyer to argue.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Richmond

If you are convicted of this crime, it is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable with up to 12 months in jail and a fine up to $2,500. While this crime will not stain your reputation as much as a felony, it is still the highest level of misdemeanor.

Furthermore, this charge usually isn’t given alone. There will be another charge to justify the arrest. If we can prove that the other charge would not apply to you, that could also make the court drop the resisting arrest charge.

Get Help Right Away From a Richmond Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you are facing this charge, the clock is ticking against you. You need legal representation before your arraignment. The Pendleton Law Group is ready to help you defend against this charge.

If you need an attorney for resisting arrest in Richmond, Virginia, we’re ready to help you. Call the number on your screen or use our contact form to reach out to us. We will discuss your case and your legal options with you.