Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer – Resisting Law Enforcement
If you or a loved you have been accused of Resisting Law Enforcement, either as a misdemeanor or felony, you need an experienced attorney on your side. As a former deputy prosecutor, Julie Chambers has experience both defending and prosecuting charges for resisting law enforcement (commonly referred to as resisting arrest), giving her unique insight and experience when defending clients accused of resisting law enforcement.
Unfortunately, resisting law enforcement is one of those charges that is often filed when an officer doesn’t believe someone is following orders or listening. Often times, cases where the officer could deescalate the situation ends up with someone arrested for resisting law enforcement because the officer didn’t like their attitude. There are many reasons someone may be charged with resisting law enforcement when they were not actually trying to resist and an experienced lawyer can spot those issues and possible defenses.
Resisting law enforcement can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the facts and circumstances alleged. The various sections are discussed below. (IC 35-44.1-3).
Resisting Law Enforcement by Force
A person who knowingly or intentionally forcibly resists, obstructs, or interferes with a law enforcement officer or a person assisting the officer while the officer is lawfully engaged in the execution of the officer’s duties or forcibly resists, obstructs, or interferes with the authorized service or execution of a civil or criminal process or order of a court commits resisting law enforcement by force, a Class A misdemeanor. This section requires the state to prove that the person accused used actual force. Passive resisting is not enough. The maximum sentence for a Class A misdemeanor is 365 days in jail and up to a $5000 fine.
Resisting Law Enforcement by Flight
A person who knowingly or intentionally flees from a law enforcement officer after the officer has, by visible or audible means, including operation of the law enforcement officer’s siren or emergency lights, identified himself or herself and ordered the person to stop commits resisting law enforcement by flight, a Class A misdemeanor. This section is typically used when a person is accused of running away from an officer when the officer has ordered the person to stop or attempted an arrest.
Resisting Law Enforcement as a Felony
Resisting law enforcement may be a Level 6 felony if a person who is charged with resisting by flight uses a vehicle to commit the offense, or while committing resist by force or resist by flight, the person draws or uses a deadly weapon, inflicts bodily injury on or otherwise causes bodily injury to another person, or operates a vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another person.
The offense may be filed as a Level 5 felony if, while resisting law enforcement, the person operates a vehicle in a manner that causes serious bodily injury to another person. It is a Level 3 felony if, while committing the offense, the person operates a vehicle in a manner that causes the death of another person. Finally, it is a Level 2 felony if the person commits resisting law enforcement and the person operates a vehicle in a manner that causes the death of a law enforcement officer while the law enforcement officer is engaged in the officer’s official duties.
Additionally, if a person uses a vehicle to commit resisting law enforcement as a felony, there may be minimum jail days that must be served, if convicted, and possible license suspensions imposed on top of any criminal penalty.
Chambers Law Office – On Your Side
Attorney Julie Chambers focuses the majority of her practice on criminal defense and she will take the time to meet with you to make sure you understand the charges against you and all of your possible options, listening to your concerns, understanding your goals, and answering all of your questions throughout the case.
While no criminal defense attorney can guarantee the outcome of a criminal matter, Julie Chambers will aggressively defend your case, working to obtain the very best possible result for you. Whether you are facing charges for resisting law enforcement in Indianapolis, Hamilton County, Hancock County, Johnson County or any other central Indiana county, Chambers Law Office is here to help. Call today to speak with a lawyer!