The Three Kinds of Resisting Arrest
1. Resisting Arrest
The first kind of resisting arrest is where the defendant uses some kind of force or dangerous activity to prevent an officer from placing either himself or someone else under arrest. In these cases, the charge of resisting arrest is legitimate, eve if in some cases it really cannot be proven.
In those cases, the most important questions are whether the force or danger involved is enough for a conviction, and whether there was really any arrest to resist.
The first is really a question of degree, and although it does not take much to be enough for resisting, short of an actual fight between you and the police, it is usually worth it to consult an attorney to find out whether what the police say happened is enough to prove the offense.
The second is more technical -- according to recent decisions by the Supreme Judicial Court, the police must have been in the process of making an actual arrest before the charge can apply.
2. Making Enemies of the Police
The second kind of resisting arrest is when the police want to pile on the charges. As described above, it doesn't take much force to resist arrest, which means that whether or not there is enough to prove the charge is often up to the interpretation of the police.
If during the process of arrest the police percieve that the person they are arresting is particularly disrespectful, they might just decide to interpret things in the least favorable way possible. In those cases, there are certain defenses that you can raise that can bring out the fact that the events were not as the police recall them.
If you think your case falls into this category, you should contact me to find out what your options are.
3. For Your Own Good
The third kind of resisting arrest is where the police just need a reason to get someone off the street to diffuse the situation.
As described above, unless there was some arrest taking place to begin with, you cannot be convicted of resisting arrest. For that reason, in these cases, the person will usually also be charged with disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace, as well as resisting arrest.
If your case falls intothis category then the reason for the arrest is probably past, and the Commonwealth probably has no reason to be very concerned with your case. If you think your case falls into this category, you contact me to find out if there is a way to get your case resolved and behind you.
See: G.L. c. 268 s. 13B; Disorderly Conduct/Distrubing the Peace.