Resisting Arrest Can Lead to Serious Trouble
One of the most widely covered news stories of 2014 revolved around the death of Eric Garner in New York City. The circumstances surrounding his case have been hotly debated, as some insisted that the actions of the police were unwarranted, while others maintained that Garner’s own actions in resisting arrest ultimately led to his death.
The tragic New York incident represents just one of the thousands of cases in America each year that involve resisting arrest or obstruction of a peace officer. While discussion over the appropriate use of police force and authority is certainly warranted, state laws across the country, including Illinois, clearly prohibit resisting arrest or otherwise preventing a peace officer from performing his or her duty.
Resisting Any Arrest
One of the most important aspects of the Illinois statute regarding resisting arrest is that it makes no mention of lawful arrest. This means that resisting arrest charges may still be valid even if the arrest itself was unlawful. While it may seem unfair to many critics concerned with the abuse of police authority, from a legal standpoint, it provides law enforcement with a degree of protection in performing their duties.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Illinois
An individual charged with resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer in Illinois faces serious penalties, in addition to any charges or penalties related to the initial arrest. Simple resisting or obstructing is considered a Class A misdemeanor subject to sentences of community service, fines up to $2,500 and imprisonment of up to one year. Resisting arrest or obstructing a peace officer may be prosecuted as a Class 4 felony if the actions of the arrested individual caused or led to injuries to an officer of the law.
Resisting Arrest Defense
If you have been arrested for any type of crime and are being additionally charged with resisting arrest, you need the representation of a qualified lawyer. Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet today at the Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba. Our team has worked with hundreds of clients facing a wide variety of criminal charges, including resisting arrest, and we look forward to helping you.