Resisting Arrest Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Resisting Arrest, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Resisting Arrest?

(n) Resisting arrest is the action by which a person directly or indirectly try to avoid arrest by using physical force. So running away amounts to resisting arrest where as demanding clear arrest warrant cannot be called as resisting arrest warrant

History and Meaning of Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest is a crime that occurs when an individual intentionally attempts to prevent a law enforcement officer from making a lawful arrest. The act of resisting arrest is considered serious because it obstructs the enforcement of the law and can even escalate the situation. The origin of the term can be traced back to common law, where citizens had the right to resist an unlawful arrest by an officer in order to protect their personal liberty.

However, in modern times, the act of resisting arrest is a criminal offense, and any use of physical force to resist an arrest is strictly prohibited. Those accused of resisting arrest can face harsh penalties, including imprisonment, fines, and a criminal record.

Examples of Resisting Arrest

  1. A person who physically fights with a police officer while being placed under arrest for DUI may be charged with resisting arrest in addition to other offenses.
  2. A protester who actively resists being detained by police officers at a demonstration may be arrested and charged with resisting arrest.
  3. An individual who flees on foot when a police officer tries to arrest them for shoplifting at a convenience store may be charged with resisting arrest when caught.
  4. A suspect who refuses to comply with police directions during an arrest, such as not putting their hands behind their back when instructed, may be charged with resisting arrest.
  5. Someone who uses force to prevent the execution of an arrest warrant that is valid and lawful may be charged with resisting arrest.

Legal Terms Similar to Resisting Arrest

  1. Obstruction of justice - this term refers to the act of interfering with the administration of justice, such as by lying to authorities, concealing evidence, or resisting arrest.
  2. Interference with official acts - similar to resisting arrest, this crime involves interference with the lawful duties of a public official, such as a police officer or government employee.
  3. Evading arrest - this offense occurs when a suspect actively flees or tries to evade law enforcement in order to avoid being arrested.