Have you been charged with resisting arrest in Chicago? A conviction can have devastating consequences for you and your family, so do not hesitate to contact the Kostopoulos Law Group for help. We know that your future is on the line and will do everything in our power to get the best possible outcome in your criminal case. We will thoroughly investigate your alleged crime, determine where the prosecution’s case is weak, and fight to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed. Speak with Chicago criminal lawyer Gus Kostopoulos to set up a free consultation today. He’s a former prosecutor with over 18 years experience.
What is Resisting Arrest?
Resisting arrest is a broadly-defined crime in Chicago. The offense covers seemingly minor behavior, such as making obscene gestures or saying rude remarks, to more serious acts like physically refusing to comply with a police officer’s orders. Resisting arrest, as defined in 720 ILCS 5/31-1, occurs when you:
- Knowingly resist or obstruct;
- A peace officer, firefighter, or correctional institution employee;
- From engaging in actions in his/her official capacity.
Peace Officer, Firefighter, or Correctional Officer
The crime of “resisting arrest” actually applies to more than just your interactions with police. If you resist or prevent a firefighter or correctional officer from doing their job while acting in an official capacity can also result in criminal charges for resisting arrest. However, that peace officer, firefighter, or correctional officer must have been acting in an official capacity at the time of the resisting behavior.
You can only be convicted for resisting arrest if you knowingly resisted someone who you knew to be a peace officer, firefighter, or correctional officer. You have the right to question a law enforcement officer’s authority by requesting to see evidence of his/her position. However, once you learn that a person is a police officer, firefighter, or correctional officer you are legally required to follow their instructions and to let them do their job.
Examples of Resisting Arrest
Examples of behavior that may result in criminal charges for resisting arrest in Chicago include:
- Making a rude and obscene gesture at a police officer;
- Running from police;
- Threatening a correctional officer;
- Providing false identification to a police officer;
- Struggling with a police officer during an arrest;
- Helping another person avoid arrest; and
- Driving down the road and preventing a firetruck from passing to get to a nearby burning home.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest
Resisting arrest can be a misdemeanor or a felony offense in Chicago. The specific charge and penalties you face will depend on the seriousness of your offense and your record of criminal behavior.
Resisting arrest will be a Class A Misdemeanor when no aggravating factors are present. If you are convicted of misdemeanor resisting arrest you will face a maximum penalty of 12 months in a DuPage County jail and $2,500 in fines.
Resisting arrest will be a Class 4 Felony when your behavior causes a police officer, firefighter, or correctional officer to suffer an injury. If you are convicted of felony resisting arrest you will face a maximum penalty of 1-3 years in an Illinois state prison and $25,000 in fines.
In addition to the penalties described above, a court also has the discretion to impose additional penalties, including mandatory imprisonment for 48 hours and/or 100 hours of community service.
Defending Charges of Resisting Arrest in Chicago
If you are facing criminal charges in Chicago you have the right to defend yourself. This means that you can assert any legal argument that will help to cast doubt on your guilt. In most cases, these arguments will explain, excuse, or justify your alleged behavior. When a legal defense is persuasive the state’s attorney will have a difficult time building a solid case against you. Your attorney will use this to secure a reduction or dismissal of the charges in your case. Defenses that may be helpful in your Chicago resisting arrest case include:
- The arrest was unlawful;
- You did not know that the other person was a police officer, firefighter, or correctional officer;
- You were acting in self-defense; or
- You have been falsely accused.
Experienced Chicago Resisting Arrest Defense Attorney
Resisting arrest is a serious crime. If you have been accused of resisting arrest it is important to fight back against any criminal charges. Hiring an attorney to defend you will increase your chances of securing a positive outcome in your criminal case. Contact the Kostopoulos Law Group today to find out how we can help you minimize the consequences of your arrest. We offer a free consultation, so do not hesitate to call us today.