Resisting Arrest

The crime of resisting arrest is spelled out in Nevada law in NRS 199.280. This statute is titled simply “Resisting Public Officer.” It is defined as: “A person who, in any case or under any circumstances not otherwise specially provided for, willfully resists, delays or obstructs a public officer in discharging or attempting to discharge any legal duty of his or her office…” is guilty of resisting arrest.

While this definition is straightforward various punishments are provided for differing circumstances of resistance. These counts would be in addition to any other punishments connected to the crime being arrested for.

Punishments for Resisting

If no dangerous weapon is used in the resistance, this could be running from an officer, moving your hands when attempting to be handcuffed, or having a verbal tirade with the officer when being arrested, it is considered a misdemeanor, and carries a sentence of up to six months in county jail, and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

For resisting arrest, using a dangerous weapon, other than a firearm, or if the person being arrested takes or attempts to take or remove a weapon, other than a firearm, from the arresting officer, it is a Category D felony and carries a punishment of one to four years in state prison, and may also include up to a $5,000 fine.

When resisting arrest using a firearm, or if the person being arrested takes, or attempts to take or remove the firearm of the arresting office, it is a Category C felony, and carries a punishment of one to five years in state prison, and may also include up to a $10,000 fine.

When in the course of an arrest, the person being arrested hits or uses physical force against the arresting officer, he may also be charged with the additional crime of Battery on a Peace/Police Officer. (See our previous discussion of battery) It is considered a Category B felony, in addition to the charge of resisting arrest, which carries a punishment of two to 10 years in state prison, and may also include a fine of up to $10,000.

Defending Against a Charge of Resisting Arrest

As an example, if an altercation has already been in progress and the officer arrives to arrest you, your actions may appear to the arresting officer as resistance, when your actions were actually associated with the previous altercation.

A reflex action may have occurred without the intent to resist. The statute requires that you willfully resist, delay, or obstruct. It is required by the state to prove beyond reasonable doubt, that you had the intent to resist. The state’s evidence may be weak; or tainted, or illegally obtained, and if so, may be suppressed or excluded from the court.

With the proliferation of cell phone cameras, and security systems, video or photographic evidence may be available which shows that, in fact you did not resist, or that you were exercising self-defense. A skilled and knowledgeable attorney will know how to best defend against charges and/or negotiate with the prosecutor to obtain reduced charges or punishments.

The Defenders Can Help If You Have Been Charged with Resisting Arrest

If you have been charged with resisting arrest, you may be subject to jail time, prison terms, and possibly large fines. You should obtain a good lawyer to help defend you against the charges. The lawyers at The Defenders know how to build a defense, which will provide the best chance of success against such charges. Call us to discuss your case today at (702) 333-3333.

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