A charge for resisting arrest may be confusing for some defendants. This type of charge is commonly associated with violent behavior or actions that are directly resisting an officer's orders. However, an individual may be accused of resisting arrest for a wide variety of seemingly benign behaviors. Here is what defendants in Alabama should know about criminal law and this type of charge.
In general, resisting arrest means that a person is intentionally preventing a police officer from making what is an otherwise lawful arrest. It may also refer to actions that prevent an officer from carrying out official duties or that put officers or others at risk for bodily injury. In order to secure a conviction, a prosecutor must be able to demonstrate that a defendant should have been reasonably aware that he or she was resisting an officer who was performing lawful duties, and that the defendant was intentionally resisting arrest.
Police often end up using resisting arrest in situations that fall outside of these parameters. For example, if an officer believes that a person is responding too slowly to commands, he or she might claim that this behavior is resisting arrest. Individuals who are confused by officers' orders can also end up being accused of resisting arrest. Still, this does not mean that a police officer can interpret any type of behavior that involves not following orders as resisting arrest.
It is important for defendants to understand their charges and the evidence behind those allegations. In some situations, a person might be charged with a crime that does not have supporting evidence. The broad interpretation of resisting arrest by police officers could possibly mean that some people are facing charges that may not be valid. As such, seeking guidance on these types of criminal law matters can be extremely beneficial for defendants in Alabama.