Resisting Arrest: Penalties and Laws

Resisting arrest can be a very subjective charge that you can incur when you don’t even know what’s happening.

study of NYPD arrests found that just 5% of the department generated over 40% of all of these charges.

If you’ve been charged with this offense, you’re probably wondering what’s going to happen. Will you be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony? Will you go to jail?

Keep reading as we break down the details on these charges under Michigan law and take a look at the penalties you could be facing.

Michigan Law

Resisting arrest can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Your charge depends on the circumstances of your case.

The penalties you may be assessed are dependent on the facts of your case and the way you are charged.

In Michigan, this arrest is usually referred to as “R&O.” This stands for “resisting and obstructing.” Under Michigan law, resisting and obstructing is defined as occurring when an individual:

“…assaults, batters, wounds, resists, obstructs, opposes, or endangers a person who the individual knows or has reason to know is performing his duties.”

What’s interesting to note is that you don’t have to physically assault an officer to be charged with this crime. In fact, simply disobeying a command of the officer can result in this charge.

It’s also worth mentioning that, in Michigan, your sentence for resisting arrest can run consecutive to other charges you incur from the same interaction. That means you may have to serve time for this crime before serving time for any other charges.

Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Michigan

In Michigan, resisting arrest can only be charged as a misdemeanor under a local city ordinance. If you are charged under state law, you’ll be charged with a felony.

The penalty depends on whether there was injury or death of the officer involved. If you are charged, and no officer was injured or died, you could spend up to 2 years in prison and/or pay a $2,000 fine.

If an officer is injured or killed, the following punishments come into play:

  • If the officer incurs bodily injury that requires medical attention, you may be subject to up to 4 years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine
  • If the officer incurs a serious impairment of body function, you may be subject to up to 15 years in prison and/or a $10,000 fine
  • If the officer dies, you may be subject to up to 20 years in prison and/or a $20,000 fine

What You Should Do When Being Charged

As you can see, a charge for resisting arrest can happen from even a simple misunderstanding.

It doesn’t always happen the way TV and movies portray it. Normal people can be charged with a felony even if their intentions were good or they were confused.

If you’re being charged resisting arrest in Michigan, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands these laws. Contact us today for a case evaluation.