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What Is Resisting Arrest?

Posted on January 25, 2022

The police decide to arrest you, but you think they have no reason to do so. What next? Do you hold out your hands for them to cuff and step into the police car as they request? Or do you just stand there doing nothing on the basis that it’s they who want to arrest you, so it’s they who should do the work?

If the police decide to arrest you, it is best to comply with their instructions. There are two reasons for this. First, any attempt to make their life difficult could have catastrophic consequences. Second, you could add to the charges you face.

Resisting Arrest is a Class 2 Misdemeanor

This charge alone could lead to a sentence of between 3 and 12 months in jail. That is regardless of whether or not a court upholds the original charge. You could also face a fine of between $250 and $1,000.

Here is how Colorado law defines resisting arrest:

  • Using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the peace officer or another; or
  • Using any other means which creates a substantial risk of causing bodily injury to the peace officer or another

Does that mean I can refuse to move, hold onto a post, sit or lie on the floor so that the police have to drag me away?

None of these actions would be wise. If the police decide to arrest you, they will succeed sooner or later. There is no point in riling them and potentially putting yourself in danger. Co-operate and ask to call an attorney, which is your legal right. They are your best hope to show you are innocent.