Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Possible Defenses to Charges of Resisting Arrest

The Police Chief of Tewksbury reports that a woman was arrested and charged with assaulting several officers who were trying to arrest her in accordance with a warrant. 

The incident started when Tewksbury law enforcement received a call from a woman who said she was lost. The woman hung up on emergency workers, who were able to trace the origins of her call.

Tewksbury law enforcement searched the location but did not locate the caller until she contacted law enforcement again. Law enforcement then determined that the woman was wanted on the basis of two arrest warrants involving assault and battery on ambulance workers.

Law enforcement tried to take the woman into custody, but she resisted this and kicked one officer and hit another. Law enforcement then restrained the woman, who kept kicking inside the law enforcement vehicle. During the booking, the woman hit another officer and tried to strike another. Neither the woman nor law enforcement is reported to be injured.

The woman was ultimately charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, assault, and resisting arrest.

Massachusetts prohibits individuals from either resisting or delaying law enforcement from attempting to perform their official duties. Doing this is viewed as resisting arrest. Fortunately, based on the circumstances surrounding your situation, various strategies exist to defend against charges of resisting arrest.

The best strategy for defending against charges of resisting arrest is to remember that these charges are influenced by whether you resisted a law enforcement officer in lawfully executing the tasks of the position. Some of the strategies you can raise in response to these charges include the following.

Unlawful Arrest

If an arrest was against the law, a person will be viewed as not having done anything wrong, even if that individual resisted arrest. The officer was not performing the duties of their desk because no duty exists to perform an unlawful arrest. 


A person has the option to defend against any misconduct by law enforcement. A law enforcement officer who utilizes excessive force against an individual makes an arrest unlawful. If law enforcement used force in response to forceful resistance, a person will lose any claims of self-defense.

False Allegations

Raising false allegations requires a person to establish that nothing they did fits the definition of resisting arrest. For example, a person might have been rude or sarcastic in tone or nature, and law enforcement might have chosen to respond by raising charges of resisting arrest.

Failure to Identify

A person cannot intentionally resist arrest if that individual was not aware they were being arrested by a law enforcement officer. This might occur if law enforcement officers fail to identify themselves.

Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you or a loved one has been charged with assault, battery, or any other related crime, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced attorney. Contact Attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.