Charged with Resisting Arrest in Arizona?
When you think of resisting arrest, you probably picture violent persons who fight police officers. In reality, even you can get charged with this offense in circumstances that appear non-violent. According to Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2508, the offense is defined as:
- Using or threatening to use physical force
- Using any other means of creating a substantial risk causing physical injury
- Engaging in passive resistance.
While the first two definitions are clear and to the point, the last one gives law enforcement officers the freedom to interpret almost anything as resistance to an arrest. In our experience as criminal defense Arizona law attorneys, we have handled cases where the passive resistance meant simply stiffening the body, refusing to open the door or shouting for assistance to the general public.
Unlawful Arrest Is No Defense to This Charge
Moreover, you are not justified in resisting arrest even if the law enforcement officer’s action is proven to be unlawful. That is, all the other charges may be dropped because you were illegally arrested, but the charge of resisting arrest will stand.
For this reason, if you are charged with this type of offense, you need to contact a criminal defense Arizona law attorney as soon as possible and hire them to represent you throughout all the phases of the criminal case.
How Criminal Defense Arizona Law Attorneys Can Overturn a Charge
Once you hired an attorney to represent you, any discussion with them is confidential. Thus, you should describe truthfully and with maximum accuracy what happened when you were arrested.
Depending on the circumstances, the criminal defense Arizona law attorney can prove:
Lack of Intent
The lawyer can prove that your actions or inaction were not meant to resist arrest. An example is when you walk away from a police officer, under the honest belief that they would not place you under arrest.
In this case, the criminal defense Arizona law attorney will stress the legal meaning of “intentional” as defined by Arizona Revised Statutes 13-105 and prove that it does not apply to your actions.
Lack of Knowledge
In some occasions, a plain clothes officer or a law enforcement officer off duty is performing the arrest. This is a case when the defendant can invoke the fact that they did not know that the person who approached them represented a law enforcement agency.
The criminal defense Arizona law attorney can use the same type of argument if the officer failed to identify himself properly to you.
Even if you used threats or physical force, you can justify it, under Arizona Revised Statutes 13-404 by the fact that you acted in self defense. Cases when police officers use excessive force are not rare, unfortunately.
Your criminal defense Arizona law attorney will strive to collect all the relevant pieces of evidence, from CCTV footage to the officer’s body cam and video recordings made by eyewitnesses to prove your claim.
Mere Argument or Criticism
Some law enforcement officers will claim that you were resisting arrest simply because you verbally criticized or disagreed with them. Under criminal defense Arizona law, this is not a valid ground for charging a person with this offense.
An experienced lawyer will be able to prove that what really happened was a mere argument with or criticism of the peace officer.
A Skilled Criminal Defense Arizona Law Attorney Is Your Best Ally
Many people believe that when it is their word against a police officer’s, the cause is already lost. That is not true. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the law and their words carry equal weight.
If you were charged with resisting arrest, an experienced criminal defense Arizona law attorney will make sure that your word is listened to. Book an appointment with us to discuss your case!