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What Are the Penalties for Resisting Arrest in CT?

Typically, when faced with a situation we don't agree with, we try to reason with the other person to de-escalate the matter and avoid any adverse consequences from arising. Unfortunately, when the circumstances involve a police officer engaged in their official duties, any attempt to explain the situation or avoid being arrested can be taken as interfering with the cop. If you are charged with and subsequently convicted of resisting, you could face jail or prison time and steep fines.

What Is Resisting Arrest?

Resisting arrest means you are actively doing something that prevents an officer from taking you or someone else into custody. It can involve such things as getting into a physical altercation with a cop or trying to move away from them when they are attempting to handcuff you.

But Connecticut's law on resisting arrest, under C.G.S. § 53a-167a, isn't only concerned with physically preventing an officer from arresting a person. It provides that any behavior keeping an officer from performing their official duties can be charged as interfering.

Specifically, the law states that it is illegal to do any of the following toward a cop:

  • Obstruct
  • Resist
  • Hinder
  • Endanger

The definition of interfering is broad, and a charge is often levied against a person for engaging in even the slightest movement that may be construed as obstruction.

An individual can also be accused of committing the offense even if they didn't take any physical actions against the officer. For instance, say cops are called to a residence because of a loud party. When they arrive on the scene, they instruct the guests to stop moving and talking, but one guest keeps dancing and having conversations with those around him. That guest, even though he didn't do anything to the cops, could be arrested for resisting because his actions obstructed the officers' abilities to perform their official duties.

How Much Time Can You Get For Resisting Arrest?

In Connecticut, resisting arrest can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. The length of incarceration depends on the level.

Generally, resisting arrest is a class A misdemeanor, which carries the following conviction penalties:

  • Up to 1 year in jail, and/or
  • Up to $2,000 in fines

If the interference with an officer causes serious injury or death to anyone, the offense becomes a class D felony.

The conviction penalties include:

  • Up to 5 years in prison; and/or
  • Up to $5,000 in fines

Resisting Charged Along With Other Offenses

If you're accused of resisting arrest, you'll likely be charged with that offense, along with any other underlying crime. For example, suppose your family or household member called the cops, alleging that you committed a domestic violence offense against them. The accusations are false, and you want to explain that to the officer, and when they attempt to take you into custody, you try to stop them. In this scenario, you could be charged with the domestic violence offense as well as resisting arrest.

When subjected to false allegations, or even an unlawful arrest, it's best to comply with an officer's instructions to avoid facing further charges and penalties. During trial is when you can present evidence to refute the claims or demonstrate that your rights were violated.

At Tomeo Sills, LLC, our Connecticut lawyers can help fight your charges and work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf. Schedule a free consultation by calling us at (844) 913-7747 or filling out an online contact form.