Conflicts between citizens and police may lead to resisting arrest charges. Resisting arrest charges can range from failing to cooperate with a police officer to actively fighting with the police to stop an arrest.
Omaha resisting arrest defense attorney Tom Petersen and his legal team with Petersen Criminal Law are ready 24 hours a day to discuss your resisting arrest charges. Relying on his wealth of criminal trial defense experience, Tom will pursue all avenues of defense on your behalf.
What Is Resisting Arrest?
People under arrest in Nebraska are expected to submit to the lawful authority of the police. Refusing to comply with the legal order of a police officer risks the officer’s safety and the person the police are attempting to arrest.
Resisting arrest means more than questioning the officer’s authority or decision to make an arrest. According to Nebraska law, a person is guilty of resisting arrest when:
- The person intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a peace officer from making an arrest when the officer is acting in his or her official capacity as a law enforcement officer;
- The person uses or threatens to use physical force or violence against the peace officer;
- The person uses any means that creates a significant risk of injuring the peace officer or another person; or
- The person uses any means to prevent arrest that requires law enforcement to use substantial force to overcome.
The state has the burden to prove all the elements of resisting arrest beyond a reasonable doubt.
Commonly Seen Resisting Arrest Charges
Nebraska’s resisting arrest law is broad enough to apply in many circumstances. A peace officer could charge a person with resisting for acts such as:
- Refusing to be handcuffed,
- Running from police,
- Fighting with police, or
- Threatening to harm the police.
The police could bring a resisting arrest charge even if no one sustained an injury. Additionally, police can bring a resisting arrest charge if they charge the wrong person with a crime and the misidentified person resists.
Penalties for Resisting Arrest
Prosecutors can charge resisting arrest as a misdemeanor or a felony. Resisting arrest is a misdemeanor if there are no aggravating factors that apply. As a Class I misdemeanor, the maximum sentence for misdemeanor resisting arrest is a one-year jail sentence and a fine of no more than $1,000.
Two aggravating factors can make resisting arrest a felony. Resisting arrest is a felony when the person has a previous conviction for resisting arrest. Resisting arrest is also a felony if the person used a deadly or dangerous weapon during the commission of the crime.
Felony resisting arrest is a Class IIIA felony. The maximum prison term for a Class IIIA felony is three years in prison, a fine of no more than $10,000, and 18 months of supervised release.
How an Attorney Can Help
Nebraska law recognizes defenses to resisting arrest charges. The person accused of resisting arrest has an affirmative defense to the charge if the officer was not in uniform and did not show a badge or other form of identification.
Additionally, the judge presiding over a resisting arrest trial must give a self-defense instruction if there is evidence that the officer used unreasonable force to make the arrest and the person charged defended themself.
An attorney with tremendous trial experience will analyze the case to determine which defenses will be the best for your case.
Ask Us Any Questions You Have About Your Resisting Arrest Charge in Nebraska
Tom Petersen is ready to fight for justice if you face resisting arrest charges in Nebraska. Count on Tom and his team with Petersen Criminal Law to use their extensive knowledge and tremendous resources to help you fight resisting arrest charges. Call 402-509-8070 today to learn how Tom could help you.
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