Philadelphia Resisting Arrest Defense Lawyer
If you are being arrested for a crime, resisting arrest by a law enforcement officer may land you in deeper trouble. Not only will you be placing your safety at risk, but you also risk being charged with additional criminal offenses. If you or a family member was charged with resisting arrest, you should consult with an experienced Philadelphia resisting arrest defense lawyer.
The Law Office of Lloyd Long understands how a criminal offense can drastically change a person’s life, and we are here for you. Our firm avoids taking a large number of cases so that we can properly devote our resources to managing the unique needs of every client. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your case, contact the Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, or contact us online.
Pennsylvania Resisting Arrest Laws
If law enforcement believes that a person was in the act of committing a crime, they will obviously move to arrest the suspect. When this happens, the suspect should avoid fighting the officers even if they believe their actions were legal. Failing to follow the instructions of law enforcement during an arrest could result in more criminal penalties once a person is apprehended.
In Pennsylvania, a resisting arrest offense occurs when a person attempts to stop a public servant from carrying out a lawful arrest. A public servant is defined as law enforcement or an employee of the government. However, it can also include other officials like judges.
It is also important to note that the defendant must create a dangerous situation where the public servant or another person could be severely injured during the arrest. As a result, the law enforcement officer will be permitted to use a necessary amount of force to take the defendant into custody. Resisting arrest can not only be hazardous for the defendant but if law enforcement believes you pose a threat to others, the situation can escalate quickly.
To learn more about the criminal penalties and defenses for resisting arrest, continue reading and speak with an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense lawyer today.
Criminal Penalties and Defenses for Resisting Arrest
If you were arrested for resisting arrest by a law enforcement officer, the offense would typically be graded as a second degree misdemeanor. There are three grades of misdemeanors from third degree misdemeanors up to first degree misdemeanors. First degree misdemeanors are the most severe type of misdemeanor, while second degree misdemeanors fall right under this category.
When a defendant is convicted of a second degree misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, they can be sentenced to up to two years in prison and ordered to pay $5,000 in criminal fines. It is important to note that if you are convicted of the underlying crime that caused you to be arrested, the criminal penalties for that crime can result in a significantly longer sentence.
There are some defenses that an individual could use to defend against a resisting arrest offense. To mount a proper defense, you should be aware of what the prosecutor must prove for the State of Pennsylvania to convict you for resisting arrest. A prosecutor must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt to convict a defendant of resisting arrest:
- The defendant’s resistance was intentional
- The defendant was resisting a public servant
- The public servant was executing a lawful arrest
- There was no risk of harm to a public servant or bystander
If a defendant can show that they were not guilty of just one of these elements, they cannot be found guilty of resisting arrest. For example, if a defendant can show that the person trying to arrest them does not qualify as a public servant or did not appear as a public servant, they are not resisting arrest.
If you were arrested for resisting arrest, our firm could help you fight your case. While resisting arrest is a misdemeanor, it is an offense that can carry a serious penalty.
Contact Our Experienced Criminal Defense Attorneys to Handle Your Case
If you were charged with resisting arrest, contact an experienced Philadelphia criminal defense attorney today. Criminal defense attorney Lloyd Long possesses a wealth of experience litigating a wide range of criminal cases, and he is prepared to work with you. Being charged with a criminal offense can be a frightening experience, but we can help guide you through the criminal court process. To schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal options, contact the Law Office of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171.