Far too often when someone is arrested the police tack on the charge of Resisting Arrest. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 268 section 32B provides that “[a] person commits the crime of resisting arrest if he knowingly prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer, acting under color of his official authority, from effecting an arrest of the actor or another, by: (1) using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the police officer or another; or (2) using any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to such police officer or another.”
The prosecutor will have to prove four things beyond a reasonable doubt. First the prosecutor will have to prove that you prevented or attempted to prevent a police officer from making an arrest. This can include preventing or attempting to prevent your own arrest or that of another person.
Secondly, the prosecutor must prove that the officer was acting under color of his (her) official authority at the time. This second requirement is interesting in that the arrest does not have to be lawful, but it only requires the officer to be acting under the color of his authority.
Thirdly, the prosecutor must prove that you resisted. This third requirement can by satisfied by you using, or threatening to use, physical force or violence against the police officer or another person or by you using some other means which created a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the police officer or another person.
Finally, the prosecutor must prove that you did the proceeding acts knowingly. It should also be noted that for the purpose of resisting arrest a police officer is defined as “a police officer in uniform or, if out of uniform, one who has identified himself by exhibiting his credentials as such police officer while attempting such arrest.”
It is also, important to know that although resisting arrest is a misdemeanor it does carry a substantial penalty. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 268 section 32B further provides that “[w]hoever violates this section shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two and one-half years or a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both.”
If you have been charged with resisting arrest it is important to retain a criminal defense attorney immediately. With so much at stake it is important that the attorney be experienced and potentially a former prosecutor who knows the system. If you are in need of a criminal defense attorney call Attorney Newton at 617-466-6068 or visit to obtain the experience you need and deserve.
David Newton, Esq.