Punishment for the Charge of Resisting Arrest in MA

An encounter with law enforcement can be scary. In many cases, a person may be fearful of their rights or their person, and may attempt to flee from police as a result. While the inclination to resist arrest may be natural or reactive, it’s important to understand that resisting arrest can carry additional penalties in Massachusetts. If you have been charged with resisting arrest in Massachusetts, it’s important that you understand the full range of potential penalties you face and what your legal options are. To learn more, call The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski directly today. 

Defining “Resisting Arrest” in Massachusetts

The crime of resisting arrest is found in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 268 Section 32B. Under the law, a person commits the crime of resisting arrest when they knowingly prevent or attempt to prevent police officers from effecting the arrest of the individual or of another by:

  1. Using or threatening to use physical force or violence against the officer; or
  2. Using any other means that creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to the police officer or another. 

Note that running away or fleeing from an officer in itself is not considered resisting arrest unless doing so creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to the police officer or another party. 

Penalties for Resisting Arrest

Resisting arrest is penalized by a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for 2.5 years, or both. Note that resisting arrest is almost always a charge that is stacked upon another charge or set of charges, however, which means that the fine and jail time—if convicted—may be in addition to other penalties a defendant may be facing. 

How to Defend Yourself Against Charges for Resisting Arrest

If you have been charged with resisting arrest in Massachusetts, there are a few different defenses that may be appropriate and applicable to your case. Arguments that your defense attorney may be able to make on your behalf include arguing that you did not know that the police officer who was arresting you was an officer; the officer was using excessive force and acting unlawfully at the time they arrested you; or you were acting in self-defense. 

Call The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski Today 

Having a permanent mark on your record and facing time behind bars as a result of resisting arrest in the heat of the moment can feel unfair. At The Law Offices of Paul R. Moraski, we understand that being arrested is often a confusing, overwhelming, and emotional experience. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, our Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer can help you to understand your legal rights and defend yourself against charges. To learn more about the charges you’re facing and the defense options available to you, call our law office directly at (978) 397-0011 or use the intake form on our website to send us a message and request a consultation. We are here to advocate for you!