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When law enforcement officers arrest you, the last thing you want to do is try to fight it. If you kick your feet or use any other physical force, you could be charged with an additional crime: resisting arrest. This makes your sentence longer than necessary.

You don’t even need to use violence to be accused—moving your arms to avoid the handcuffs is enough.

But what if the arrest is unlawful? Am I entitled to resist?

Some states like New York give you the right to do so if the arrest is proven to be illegal. To be considered lawful, the police must have a probable cause. If not, you have the upper hand in court because you can’t be accused of resisting if there weren’t any reasonable grounds to detain you in the first place.

Most people think that believing they are innocent gives them a reason to exercise this right. Let’s say you were arrested with a probable cause and pulled away when they tried to cuff. You are then found not guilty of the crime you were arrested for, but the resisting arrest charges won’t disappear automatically. The arrest itself is still considered lawful.

However, all hope is not lost. There are more defenses if false arrest cannot be used:

  • You acted in self-defense because the police used excessive force
  • The allegations are false, and the officer is using them to retaliate against you
  • The agent was off duty or without their uniform
  • Racial profiling

We advise you to avoid resisting arrest at all costs even if you believe you’re innocent since it will make the situation worse. There is a lower chance of getting a harsh sentence if you act politely and let the agent proceed. Afterward, you will have the opportunity to request an attorney with the legal knowledge required to handle the incident.

Contact us if you or your loved one has been accused of resisting arrest in California. We will study the case and explore ways to achieve the best outcome possible.

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