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Resisting Arrest Lawyers

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Resisting arrest charges can have serious consequences, particularly in aggravating circumstances. Prosecutors can bring resisting arrest charges alongside other criminal charges, such as assault or battery charges, or on their own. 

An experienced resisting arrest lawyer can help if you face these charges head-on. They can work to reduce the potential outcome and file motions to get the charges dismissed. Their goal is to protect you from the full force of the law and seek a positive resolution to your case.

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Trust the award-winning criminal defense attorneys at De Castroverde Law Group Criminal & Immigration for personalized strategies and representation. The Nevada justice system can be unforgiving, but a good resisting arrest attorney can help move the odds in your favor. Contact us today for a free consultation. 

Understanding Resisting Arrest

Per Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 199.280, resisting arrest involves acting against a law enforcement officer’s attempt to detain or arrest a suspect legally. This offense includes physical resistance and behavior interfering with officers’ efforts to perform their duty. For example, running away from an officer, struggling while an officer handcuffs you, or providing false information can all be forms of resisting arrest.

A resisting arrest charge in Nevada can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. If you resist arrest without using violence or a dangerous weapon, you might face a misdemeanor charge, which can lead to fines and possibly jail time. However, if you resist using a dangerous weapon, the charge can escalate to a felony. A felony charge for resisting arrest carries more severe consequences, including longer terms of imprisonment and higher fines.

You can face resisting arrest charges against an individual who isn’t a member of law enforcement. For example, resisting arrest charges may apply if you fail to comply with instructions or orders from any of these public officers:

  • Social workers
  • Correctional officers
  • Probation officers
  • Peace officers
  • Judges or court commissioners
  • Firefighters

A resisting arrest charge can have lasting consequences beyond the legal penalties. Whether it’s a misdemeanor or felony, a resisting arrest charge will go on your criminal record, affecting future employment opportunities, your ability to obtain certain licenses, and other basic freedoms.

Legal Consequences of Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest in Nevada can be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the arrest’s circumstances. The legal consequences for a resisting arrest charge can vary depending on the circumstances. If there is a deadly weapon involved, the severity of the consequences increases. Additionally, if an officer becomes injured due to force used against them by the individual resisting arrest, the resisting arrest charge becomes more severe.

Here are the penalties for some common resisting arrest charges:

  • Misdemeanor Charge  Resisting arrest without a weapon usually results in a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge. If convicted, the punishment includes a maximum fine of $1,000 and a jail sentence of six months. 
  • Resisting Arrest with a Firearm  If a gun was involved in resisting arrest, the charge is a Category C felony, and the fines and jail time increase. The sentence for a category C felony can range from one to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000. 
  • Resisting Arrest with Another Weapon  If a deadly and dangerous weapon other than a gun was used to avoid an arrest, the charge becomes a Category D felony. The sentence for Category D felonies in Nevada can be anywhere from one to four years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine. 
  • Injuring an Officer  If the officer was hurt or had force used against them, the state may also bring assault or battery charges. These additional charges, if applicable, carry their own maximum fines and sentences that can add to any punishments if convicted. 

You should be aware that for both category C and D resisting arrest felonies, a court can impose a higher fine if a statute permits. It is up to the court’s discretion. Other consequences for a resisting arrest conviction include a criminal record visible to potential employers, landlords, and financial institutions. 

Common Situations Leading to Resisting Arrest Charges

Resisting arrest charges can arise from various situations. Even actions that seem minor to you can qualify as resisting arrest. Let’s explore some common scenarios where these charges might occur:

  • Physical Resistance: This is one of the most straightforward examples of resisting arrest. It includes actions like pushing or hitting a police officer or physically struggling while officers attempt to handcuff a suspect. Physical resistance is clear-cut and often leads to immediate charges.
  • Fleeing: Another common scenario is fleeing from police. A suspect who runs away or drives off after being signaled by police to stop is considered to be resisting arrest. It doesn’t matter if the chase is short or if the suspect believes they’ve done nothing wrong. Fleeing from an officer is a serious offense.
  • Non-Physical Resistance: In some cases, even non-physical actions can lead to charges of resisting arrest. For example, providing false information or failing to follow an officer’s instructions during an arrest can count as resistance.

How a Resisting Arrest Lawyer Can Help 

Facing resisting arrest charges in Nevada? Legal representation is critical to your defense. Resisting arrest lawyers can help poke holes in the prosecution’s case against you. Their evaluation of the evidence can build a solid legal defense against the charges. Here are some ways they can help in your defense:

  • Review Police Reports – Your lawyers will examine the reports police took of your arrest. These are critical to the resisting arrest charge as they detail the viewpoint and claims of the arresting officer and might hint at mistakes the officer made that could undermine the prosecution’s case against you.
  • Learn Your Side of the Story – Your lawyer will listen to your account of the situation and circumstances that led to the arrest and the subsequent charge. They will likely ask questions to learn more and review your perspective compared to the arresting officer’s perspective. When they represent you in court, they can accurately relay your viewpoint. 
  • Independently Investigate the Charges – Corroborating evidence of your arrest’s circumstances is crucial to building a defense against resisting arrest charges. Eyewitnesses can be critical to successfully defending against these charges. If bystanders can independently speak to your behavior during your arrest, their testimony can help weaken the state’s case. Your lawyer can interview potential witnesses to get their testimony. 
  • Evaluate the Arresting Officer – A thorough defense lawyer can examine the arresting officer’s work background and history to examine their credibility. They can work to find inconsistencies or previous relevant issues to raise in court to weaken or dismiss the officer’s statements. If an officer has a questionable history, it can undermine the prosecution’s case. 
  • File Motions – Your lawyer can work to get certain pieces of evidence struck from the court’s consideration if there was unconstitutional behavior from the officer. Limiting the amount of evidence the court can consider makes the state’s case more challenging to prove. 
  • Negotiate for Reduced Charges – Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer might work with prosecutors to drop more serious charges if you plead guilty to lesser charges. This could be the best way to avoid the most serious penalties in your case.
  • Represent You in Court – If your case goes to trial, your resisting arrest lawyer will defend you before a judge and jury, explaining your side of the story and rebutting the prosecution’s.

Possible Resisting Arrest Defenses

Depending on the nature of the resisting arrest charges against you, your lawyer might select any of the following common defenses: 

  • You didn’t resist the arrest, and the officer misinterpreted your actions. 
  • Any resistance was in response to the use of excessive force by the officer. 
  • Your arrest was unlawful to begin with and shouldn’t have occurred. 
  • You weren’t aware the person was a public officer or a member of law enforcement. 
  • You were acting in self-defense, and the arrest became unlawful. 

Contact a Nevada Resisting Arrest Lawyer Today 

A criminal conviction for resisting arrest can have lifelong consequences for your personal and professional opportunities. A resisting arrest lawyer can preserve and protect your legal rights and fight for a positive outcome in your case. The award-winning legal team at De Castroverde Law Group Criminal & Immigration is a formidable ally to have in your corner as you face these serious charges. Contact us today to get started with a free consultation.