Many people have interactions with the police or other official officers and are surprised when they are eventually charged with resisting arrest. This is largely because the law many people know as resisting arrest is defined differently, and much more broadly, in Louisiana than it is in other states. If you have been charged with resisting arrest, it is critical that you speak to a Ouachita Parish criminal defense lawyer who can give you the best chance of beating the charges.
Resisting an Officer in Ouachita Parish
In other states, one has to fight or flee an officer while they are actually being arrested in order to face charges. In many of those states, the law only applies to police officers. Neither of these things are true in Ouachita Parish, or the rest of the state. In Louisiana, the offense commonly known as resisting arrest is actually known as “resisting an officer.” The term officer also does not strictly apply to police officers. Instead, it applies to any officer working in an official capacity, which could include wildlife enforcement, a parole officer, warden, or marshal.
Some of the most common reasons resisting an officer charges are laid are as follows:
- You ran away, or tried to run away, after a police officer informed you they were placing you under arrest
- You physically resist an arrest
- You injured, tried to injure, or threatened to injure, a police officer
- You provide the officer with fake identifying information, or you refuse to provide the correct information
- You do not disperse from an area after a police officer has asked you to leave
- You entered an area that law enforcement has sealed off, either by tape, barricade, or some other method
Due to the fact that resisting an officer covers such a wide variety of offenses, it is a very common criminal charge in Ouachita Parish.
Penalties for Resisting an Officer in Ouachita Parish
When a person resists an officer, but they do not use or threaten force while doing so, they will face misdemeanor charges. For example, the police may tell a person at a protest to disperse from the area. The person may stay, but not use or threaten force. Although they may be arrested, they will face a lesser misdemeanor charge. Using force on an officer, or threatening to, will result in felony charges. If an officer becomes injured while a person is resisting them, that will definitely result in felony charges.
The penalties for those convicted of a misdemeanor include up to six months in jail and a fine of no more than $500. A felony conviction will come with much harsher penalties, including between one and three years in prison and a maximum fine of $2,000.
Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ouachita Parish for Help with Your Charges
The broad context of the law makes it easy for police officers to misinterpret it and lay charges when a person is innocent. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Ouachita Parish criminal defense lawyer is committed to defending anyone facing charges and will work tirelessly to ensure your rights are upheld. If you have been charged, call us now at 318-594-3592 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.