What Are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest in Illinois?
While the police are charged with upholding the law and maintaining safety in the community, people may be unsure about how to respond when interacting with officers. Encounters with police officers can quickly take a turn for the worse, especially if an officer believes a person is being uncooperative or is refusing to follow their instructions. In some cases, a person may face charges of resisting arrest, which can result in a variety of serious penalties. Whether these charges are filed along with other offenses or on their own, it is important to understand the applicable laws and the options for defense.
Actions That May Constitute Resisting Arrest
The language used in Illinois law to address resisting arrest is very broad, and the determination of whether a person’s actions violated the law will often be left up to the interpretation of a judge or jury. The offense of “resisting or obstructing a peace officer” may apply in any situation where a person knowingly resists arrest or obstructs the performance of a police officer or correctional institution employee who is performing authorized acts within their official capacity.
There are a wide variety of actions that may fall under this definition. While actions such as running away from police officers, engaging in physical altercations, or refusing to comply with instructions are most likely to be considered resisting arrest, other seemingly minor activities could also lead to these types of charges. Officers may claim that a person resisted them physically when they were performing a search, asking the person to put their hands behind their back or lay down on the ground, or putting on handcuffs. Even arguing with an officer or complaining about their use of force may be considered an obstruction, and this could lead to charges for bystanders or others who were not involved in an initial arrest.
Resisting arrest or obstructing a police officer is generally charged as a Class A misdemeanor, which can be punished by a jail sentence of up to one year, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. If a person’s actions caused a police officer to suffer an injury, they may be charged with a Class 4 felony, and they may be sentenced to up to three years in jail, fined up to $25,000, or both. A person who is convicted of resisting arrest will be required to serve a minimum sentence of 48 hours in prison or 100 hours of community service, and they will not be eligible for probation that would reduce this sentence.
Contact Our Will County Resisting Arrest Lawyer
Charges of resisting arrest or obstructing a police officer can be very serious. In some cases, they may be added on to other charges, or a person may need to respond to these accusations even if they are not charged with any other criminal offense. To successfully defend against these charges, it is important to work with a lawyer who can gather evidence such as statements from eyewitnesses or other information that will fully explain the circumstances surrounding the arrest. The Law Offices of Jack L. Zaremba, P.C. can provide a strong defense in these cases, helping those who have been accused of resisting arrest respond to these charges and avoid being convicted whenever possible. To arrange a free consultation and ensure that you will be able to defend against these charges, contact our Joliet resisting arrest defense attorney at 815-740-4025.