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How Illinois Residents Can Be Charged With Resisting Arrest

Posted on in Criminal Law

How Illinois Residents Can Be Charged With Resisting ArrestThere are some laws in Illinois that are meant to punish people who interfere with a police officer who is performing their job. One such criminal charge is resisting arrest, which is when a person knowingly obstructs an officer’s efforts to detain them. Resisting arrest is often an additional charge, on top of the charge for which the person was arrested. A conviction in Illinois will result in a minimum of 48 hours in jail and 100 hours of community service. It is possible to contest a resisting arrest charge, but the law’s broadness makes it difficult.

What Counts as Resistance?

The law does not specify the actions that meet the definition of resistance or obstruction. This allows police officers to interpret various behaviors as “resisting arrest,” such as:

  • Fleeing from an officer
  • Not responding to the officer’s orders
  • Struggling when the officer is putting handcuffs onto the suspect

The fact that the police officer is often the aggressor during arrests makes avoiding a resisting arrest charge more difficult for the arrestee. When a police officer suddenly grabs or tackles you, your natural reaction is to protect yourself. You may believe that you have the right to resist the arrest if you have done nothing wrong and the police officer has no reason to arrest you. Unfortunately, you can be convicted for resisting arrest when the arrest was unlawful as long as you knew that you were under arrest.

How Do You Contest a Resisting Arrest Charge?

In order to be convicted for resisting arrest, you need to have known that you were resisting and the officer needs to have been performing an authorized action. In some situations, the defendant does not know that they are being arrested when they are resisting the officer. If you have been accused of resisting arrest, you should ask yourself:

  • Did the officer tell you that you were under arrest before they took action to detain you?
  • If not, what did the officer say to you before they arrested you?
  • Had you done anything that would have caused you to expect that you would be arrested?
  • Did your struggle with the officer last long enough for you to realize that you were being arrested?

In the recent Illinois case of People v. Borders, an appellate court overturned a resisting arrest conviction because the officers did not tell the defendant that he was under arrest until after they had handcuffed him and the defendant had not done anything to justify the arrest. 

Contact a Crystal Lake, Illinois, Criminal Defense Attorney

Police officers may use the resisting arrest charge to justify their excessive force against a defendant. A McHenry County criminal defense lawyer at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC, will defend your civil liberties against needlessly aggressive police action. To schedule a free consultation, call 815-338-3838.



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