Resisting Arrest – Michigan
Michigan police, prosecutors, and judges treat resisting arrest as a very serious criminal offense. This charge can range from a misdemeanor to a felony depending on the jurisdiction and facts of the case.
If you have been accused of resisting arrest contact Michigan criminal defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria (734) 453-7806 for a free consultation.
Resisting Arrest Charges – Michigan
Resisting arrest under Michigan law can be found at MCL 750.81d Assaulting, battering, resisting, obstructing, opposing person performing duty.
If you have been charged with resisting arrest in the fourth degree, the prosecuting attorney must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
Element 1: that you assaulted, battered, wounded, resisted, obstructed, opposed, or endangered a police officer, deputy sheriff, firefighter, or emergency medical service personnel.
“Obstruct” is defined by MCL 750.81d(a) and it includes the use or threatened use of physical interference or force or a knowing failure to comply with a lawful command. You must have actually resisted by what you said or did, but physical violence is not required.
Element 2: that you knew or had reason to know that the person you resisted was a police officer (or one of the listed emergency service personnel defined under MCL 750.81d(7)(b) performing their duties at the time.
Resisting arrest is not broken down into degrees but the penalties are determined by injuries sustained by the emergency worker. For purposes of this article I am referring to the injuries as different degrees in order to break the law down. In second, third, and fourth degree resisting arrest one of the following elements must be met:
For third-degree resisting arrest, the prosecutor must also prove that your actions caused a bodily injury requiring medical attention or medical care to the officer, MCL 750.81d(2).
For second-degree resisting arrest, the prosecutor must also prove that your actions caused serious impairment of a body function to the officer, MCL 750.81d(3).
MCL 257.58(c) defines serious impairment of a bodily function as any of the following:
(a)Loss of a limb or use of that limb.
(b) Loss of an appendage like a foot, hand, finger, thumb or loss of the use of an appendage.
(c) Loss of an eye or ear or loss of use of an eye or ear.
(d) Loss or substantial impairment of a bodily function.
(e) Serious visible disfigurement.
(f) A comatose state that lasts for more than 3 days.
(g) Measurable brain or mental impairment.
(h) A skull fracture or other serious bone fracture.
(i) Subdural hemorrhage or subdural hematoma.
(j) Loss of an organ.
For first-degree resisting arrest, the prosecutor must also prove that your actions caused the death of the officer, MCL 750.81d(4).
Resisting Arrest Penalties
First-degree resisting arrest, where the defendant’s actions result in the death of an officer is up to 20 years in prison and a $20,000.00 fine, MCL 750.81d (4).
Second-degree resisting arrest, where the defendant’s actions result in serious impairment of a bodily function of an officer is up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000.00 fine, MCL 750.81d (3).
Third-degree resisting arrest, where the defendant’s actions result in the bodily injury of an officer requiring medical attention is up to 4 years in prison and a $5,000.00 fine, MCL 750.81d (2).
Fourth-degree resisting arrest is punishable by up to 2 years in prison and $2,000.00 in fines, MCL 750.81d(1).
Resisting Arrest Defense
If the prosecutor cannot prove even a single one of the elements mentioned above then you are not guilty of resisting arrest.
We have found that in certain jurisdictions, police officers will charge a person resisting arrest when they have decided they really want to punish someone.
This charge is also charged when police are trying to cover up excessive force that they used and ended up hurting someone.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled in People v Moreno, 491 Mich 38 (2012) that a defendant has the right to resist illegal police conduct, including unlawful arrests and unlawful entrees into constitutionally protected areas.
Michigan Criminal Lawyer
Aaron J. Boria has had great success in winning resisting arrest cases and achieving dismissals. If you have been charged with a serious criminal offense then you need a serious Michigan criminal defense lawyer. Contact Aaron J. Boria at (734) 453-7806 for a free consultation.