The criminal charge of resisting arrest can occur when a person interferes with a lawful arrest performed by a law enforcement officer. If you are prosecuted for resisting arrest in Ohio, the prosecutor must prove that you attempted to prevent officers from arresting you. Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony resisting arrest depends on the specific facts involved in the case.
Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest Charges in Ohio
You can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor resisting arrest in Ohio if you have, recklessly or by force, resisted or interfered with your own lawful arrest or the arrest of another. In Ohio, a second-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $750. This charge is escalated to a first-degree misdemeanor if you have, recklessly or by force, resisted or interfered with your own lawful arrest or the arrest of another, and during the course of that resistance or interference, you caused physical harm to the arresting officer. A first-degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000.
Felony Resisting Arrest Charges in Ohio
A fourth-degree felony charge will apply to resisting arrest in Ohio if, during your resistance, you cause physical harm to the officer while using a deadly weapon. Even if you do not use the weapon to cause harm to the officer but simply possess a deadly weapon, you can be charged with felony resisting arrest. Even threatening the officer with a deadly weapon while resisting arrest can result in a felony charge. In Ohio, a fourth-degree felony is punishable from 6 to 18 months in prison and a fine not to exceed $5,000.
Proving Resisting Arrest Charges in Ohio
Resisting arrest charges have to be proven by the prosecutor, and in order to be convicted for resisting arrest charges, the officer must first demonstrate that the arrest was lawful. That is the defendant must have been informed that they were being arrested, and that upon receiving that information, interfered with the arrest. Without these requirements being met, you cannot be convicted with resisting arrest in Ohio.
It’s important to note that simply telling an officer that you won’t go with them does not constitute resisting arrest, and even people who have ran from police have not been charged with resisting arrest in Ohio. In order to avoid unfair charges when resisting arrest did not actually occur, it’s critical that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.
If you are being charged with resisting arrest or other criminal charges, you need an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney to help you navigate the criminal process. For more information and a free consultation, please contact Jeff Hastings, experienced Cleveland Criminal Defense Attorney.