When law enforcement is seeking to perform their lawful duties in Colorado, it is illegal for people to interfere with that by resisting arrest. People who are confronted with allegations that they have resisted arrest in any way should be cognizant of the potential long-term consequences they may face if they are convicted. Understanding the law for resisting arrest is one part of lodging a criminal defense against these charges. Another key aspect is having legal assistance.
The officer has the official authority to make arrests. If a person tries to prevent or does prevent an officer from arresting them or another person, it is resisting arrest. There are two ways in which a person can commit these acts. One is threatening to use physical force or violence to prevent the arrest, or using these means to prevent the arrest. The other is to use other means to avoid the arrest with the possibility that the officer or another person can suffer bodily injury because of it.
People frequently make the mistake in thinking that they have the right to resist arrest if the arrest is considered unlawful, unreasonable or the officer was viewed as using excessive force. Self-defense is not a sufficient excuse to resist arrest if the officer is operating under his or her authority under the law. This charge is a Class 2 misdemeanor. A conviction could lead to three months to a year in jail, a fine of $250 to $1,000, or both.
Resisting arrest is likely to compound the initial charge for which a person was being arrested. There can be extensive consequences for a conviction and people should think about an effective defense to reduce those charges or potentially get an acquittal. Perhaps the officer did not properly identify him or herself as law enforcement. There might be a video of the incident showing that the charges are overzealous or did not happen at all. A legal defense with help from an experienced criminal defense attorney can be useful to fight the charges.