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What You Need to Know About the Crime of Resisting Arrest in Waldorf, Maryland

Resisting arrest is a crime in Maryland, including in Charles County, Maryland. See Md. Crim. Code, § 9-408. The criminal statute states simply that a “person may not intentionally resist a lawful arrest…” The statute also makes it a crime to interfere with the arrest of another person. The crime is defined as a misdemeanor crime and carries a potential jail term of up to three years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Note that the statute specifically makes “resisting arrest” an “event” related crime, not a crime specific to each police officer involved. Thus, a person can only be charged once for resisting arrest, even though more than one police officer may be involved in the attempted arrest/detention. Md. Crim. Code, § 9-408 (d).

If you are arrested and charged with resisting arrest, call us at the Law Office of Robert Castro at (301) 705-5137. We are available around the clock, 24/7. We are top-tier rated Maryland criminal defense lawyers. If you are charged with resisting arrest, likely, you are also being charged with other crimes. You will need the legal help of experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyers.

Potential Defenses to Charges of Resisting Arrest

It is not uncommon for Maryland prosecutors to add the charge of resisting arrest to other crimes charged, even if the evidence is not strong. This makes the resisting arrest charge a bit of a “bargaining chip” when there are plea deal negotiations. Resisting arrest is a stand-alone crime, which means you can be convicted of that charge even if you are acquitted of all the other charges.

To obtain a conviction for resisting arrest, the government’s prosecuting attorneys must convince a jury of three legal elements. These are:

  • The defendant knew the person attempting to make an arrest was a police officer
  • The attempted arrest was a legal and lawful arrest
  • The defendant resisted being arrested in some physical way (not just talking/arguing)

From this list of legal elements, some potential defenses can be seen. It may be shown that the defendant did NOT that an actual police officer was attempting an arrest. This might be a defense where the officer was not in uniform or was in no other way identified as a police officer. Likewise, if it can be shown that the arrest/attempted arrest was unlawful/illegal, that might be a defense to the charge. Then, finally, it might be shown that no physical resistance occurred. This can be a difficult defense since even a minor amount of struggle can justify a conviction.

In some cases, it may be possible to defend on the grounds of self-defense. Generally, this means proving an excessive use of force by the police officers. In such a defense, it should be shown that the defendant’s resistance was at a level reasonable to the alleged excessive use of force. Other defenses might include technical legal, procedural and constitutionally protected rights defenses.

Contact Waldorf, Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer Robert Castro Today

This article has been provided by the Law Office of Robert Castro. For more information or questions, contact our office to speak to an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer at (301) 705-5137. We are Waldorf, MD, Criminal Defense lawyers. Our address is 2670 Crain Highway, Waldorf, MD 20601.