Arizona Resisting Arrest Laws and Punishment

  • Home
  • arrest
  • Arizona Resisting Arrest Laws and Punishment
arizona resisting arrest


arizona resisting arrestResisting arrest in the state of Arizona can carry some pretty hefty consequences. There are various different scenarios that can be considered resisting arrest in Arizona and depending on the classification will depend on the punishment you will be facing.


Passive resistance is the lowest form of resisting arrest that you can be charged with. Passive resistance is when you are resisting arrest by nonviolent force. This usually just delays the actual arrest, and no one is hurt or threatened in the process.

Active resistance is a more active form of resisting arrest. This includes the intentional prevention of arrest using threats or physical force.

Both of these forms of resisting arrest are punishable in the state of Arizona, but it is the type of charge you face that will determine the punishment that you will receive.

These are the common forms of resisting as stated in A.R.S 13-2508:

  • Refusing to submit to the officer trying to handcuff. This includes going stiff or completely limp in the process.
  • Running from the scene to avoid being arrested.
  • Giving the officer no option other than to take you to the ground to arrest you.
  • Taking a fighting stance against the officer. If you physically assault the officer, you will also be charged with aggravated assault.


Passive resistance is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties for this include a stay in jail for up to 180 days and a fine of $4,575.00. Probation terms could be up to three years and it will be up to the judge if you have additional penalties such as classes, counseling, and community service.

Active resistance is considered a Class 6 felony and the amount of time that you spend in prison will depend on your personal criminal record. If you have no prior felonies on your record, the penalty for resisting arrest could get you anywhere from probation to 2 years in prison. If you do have a prior felony conviction on your record, you could be looking at prison time that ranges from 2 to 5.75 years.

The maximum fine for the Class 6 felony of resisting arrest is $274,500.00. This type of felony conviction can carry consequences that can impact your employment or employment opportunities, finances, personal rights, and opportunities.  The judge will be the final say on what consequences you ultimately face.

In both scenarios, if the officer involved suffered financial losses from damage to their property, injury, or lost wages, the one charged may be required to pay restitution for compensation.


There are a lot of possible reasons why you felt it necessary to resist arrest in the first place. Only your legal counsel can help you decide if you have a case reasonable enough to fight a charge against you.

One of the most common defenses used for resisting arrest cases is that the defendant did not do it intentionally, or there was no criminal intent.

Sometimes the defendant may feel as though the officer was using excessive force and they were simply protecting themselves.

Either way, it is best left for judge and jury when you are presenting your case.

Find out about the human trafficking case that led to a 108 year prison sentence.

Follow by Email