Our law firm is seeing a trend in Oakland, and Wayne County to charge Defendants with assault / resisting / obstructing a police officer. It is likely that this trend will spread to surrounding counties if it has not already.
The resisting and obstructing offense is most commonly referred to as resisting arrest and usually accompanies an additional criminal charge. For instance, a police officer may make an arrest on a person for a misdemeanor such as disturbing the peace and then charge resisting arrest because they would not turn around to be handcuffed, did not follow a command, or made jerking motions in their handcuffs.
This is not to say that police do not ever encounter danger in their line of work, but as mentioned above, resisting and obstructing has been used lately to enhance criminal charges.
Resisting and obstructing is a felony in Michigan
MCL 750.81d is the resisting and obstructing statute. At the most minor level this is a 2-year felony with a fine up to $2,000. If a bodily injury results that requires medical attention the maximum prison time doubles to 4-years and the fine jumps to $5,000. Depending on the severity of the injury claimed by the officer the maximum prions time a defendant may face is 15-20 years and up to a $20,000 fine.
Resisting and obstructing charges
Remember that the prosecuting attorney always has to prove their case. In the case of resisting arrest the prosecutor must prove that the defendant did in fact resist an officer. The prosecutor must also prove that the defendant knew that this person was an officer at the time the claimed offense occurred and that the officer was performing their lawful duties.
If the police did not have a legal reason to arrest you then it is within your legal right to resist arrest. For more on resisting arrest click here.