Encounters with law enforcement officers can be stressful, leading some people to resist arrest. Unfortunately, this action may result in separate criminal penalties in addition to your original charges. You might face fines, jail time, or even deportation if you’re a non-citizen. At the De Castroverde Law Group, we’re here to explain everything you need to know about resisting arrest charges in Nevada. We’ll discuss the legal ramifications of a guilty verdict and share common defenses against a resisting arrest charge. Be sure to contact us if you’d like advice specific to your case and expert legal representation.
What Can Lead to Resisting Arrest Charges?
NRS 199.280 is the Nevada law that defines resistance to arrest or obstruction of police as illegal. More specifically, you cannot willfully resist, delay, or obstruct a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge their legal duties. You may face a resisting arrest charge if you flee the scene as a police officer tries to arrest you. Other common causes of this charge include not staying still as a police officer tries to handcuff you or attempting to take a police officer’s weapons.
What Happens if a Nevada Court Finds You Guilty of Resisting Arrest?
The penalties for a guilty verdict depend on various factors, including whether you used a dangerous weapon or tried to take the officer’s weapon. Here are a few possible scenarios to be aware of:
- If no weapon was involved, Nevada considers the crime a misdemeanor, which can result in up to six months of jail time and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
- Resisting arrest charges that involved a dangerous weapon other than a firearm is a category D felony, which can come with one to four years in state prison and up to $5,000 in fines.
- If a firearm was involved, Nevada considers it a category C felony and may order one to five years in state prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
What Happens if a Resisting Arrest Charge Involves Battery?
A suspect who tries to resist arrest might injure a police officer in the process. A guilty battery verdict can come with more severe penalties. Here are the penalties to expect based on various scenarios:
- If a suspect commits battery on a police officer without the use of a deadly weapon, Nevada considers it a gross misdemeanor. You may face up to 364 days in jail and/or up to $2,000 in fines.
- If the battery doesn’t involve a deadly weapon, but the suspect strangles the officer or causes substantial bodily harm, it’s a category B felony. The penalties may be two to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
- Using a deadly weapon to commit battery on a police officer can result in the same penalties as the previous scenario.
- If the battery involves a deadly weapon and the suspect strangles the office or causes substantial bodily harm, they may face two to 15 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.
Can a Resisting Arrest Charge Lead to Deportation?
If you’re a non-citizen, you may wonder how a guilty resisting arrest verdict affects your visa or green card status. It’s important to know that Nevada can consider resisting arrest as a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). Additionally, the crime could be an aggravated felony if a gun was involved. Under immigration law, CIMTs and aggravated felonies can result in deportation.
Thus, non-citizens with resisting arrest charges need the help of an experienced legal team. Contact the De Castroverde Law Group to speak with one of our seasoned attorneys. We’ll provide you with the expert representation you deserve to improve the chances of maintaining your visa or green card status.
What Are Common Defenses Against Resisting Arrest?
Throughout our years of experience, we’ve expertly represented clients facing resisting arrest charges. Here are some of the most common defenses that can reduce penalties or even result in a not-guilty verdict:
- The defendant didn’t act willfully. NRS 199.280 indicates that it’s only resisting arrest if the suspect acts intentionally. A defendant can argue that a physical reflex, whether it resulted from stress or some other ailment, forced them to act in a way that the police officer misconstrued as resistance.
- The defendant didn’t actually resist, delay, or obstruct the officer. An officer can misread the defendant’s actions as belligerent when they did not, in fact, prevent the officer from performing their duties. For instance, a rude attitude toward an officer wouldn’t classify as resisting arrest.
- The defendant used legal self-defense. If a police officer uses excessive force, the suspect may fight back. This argument is only valid if the defendant can prove that the physical force was reasonable for the situation.
- The arrest was illegal. The suspect cannot face charges for an arrest that a police officer illegally conducted. For instance, the police officer may not have had probable cause or the proper warrant.
When Can You Seal Your Resisting Arrest Conviction?
Any charge on your record can make it challenging to get a job or qualify for housing, so you may wonder when you’re able to seal a resisting arrest conviction. Note that the time frame depends on the nature of the crime. If you were convicted of a category C or D felony, you’d have to wait five years after the case closes. A misdemeanor only requires you to wait one year after the case is closed. If a Nevada court dismissed the charge, there is no waiting period to seal your record.
Knowing that a resisting arrest conviction can come with fines, jail time, and deportation can be scary, but remember that you can fight the charge. As we’ve demonstrated, multiple defenses can reduce the potential penalties or convince a court to dismiss charges. Whatever approach you use, it’s essential to have expert attorneys on your side. Contact the De Castroverde Law Group today so we can provide you with the legal advice you deserve and start building your case.