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Can you be arrested just for resisting arrest?

Can you be arrested on no other charge than resisting arrest? While it's rare, it's possible. Usually resisting arrest or obstruction of justice charges are added to charges related to an illegal activity for which a person is being arrested in the first place.

In some cases, when police officers give people orders and they refuse to comply, they may choose to arrest them. Some critics argue that these arrests are made only to exert power and punish non-compliance. However, others say that allowing people to defy police orders can be dangerous for everyone involved.

Resisting arrest doesn't have to involve violence or even the threat of violence. If an officer believes that a person isn't complying with his or her commands quickly enough or perhaps is being argumentative, that officer may decide to arrest the person for resisting arrest or obstruction of justice even if there was no initial crime.

We see resisting arrest cases sometimes when there are protests involving crowds who aren't complying with officers' commands to disburse. However, if an officer feels threatened by an individual's actions and refusal to heed commands, that officer may arrest that person.

It's always best to comply with a law enforcement officer's commands swiftly and politely -- even if you believe that you are being treated unfairly. Not doing so will likely only make matters worse and possibly endanger your safety.

A resisting arrest charge, as noted, often accompanies other charges. The charge may be difficult to prove unless there is video of the incident. An experienced Florida criminal defense attorney may be able to get that charge dropped if there is insufficient evidence to substantiate it.

Source: National Public Radio, "Arrested For Resisting Arrest — Yes, It's Possible," Martin Kaste, accessed May 09, 2017

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