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Can you be charged with resisting arrest, if your not being charged for anything?

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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:41 PM
Original message
Can you be charged with resisting arrest, if your not being charged for anything?
Hypothetical: Suppose a group of policeman, for some reason, ask you to come with them. When you say no, they grab you and decide to take you (back to the station, wherever). You resist, either by running or by struggling (but not actually striking).

If you have not been charged with anything, could you be charged with resisting arrest?

Furthermore, if you need a justification, suppose they thought you were somone else and arrested you by mistake. Do you have cause to sue? Could you be charged with resisting arrest if you ran from the police?
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Kutjara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:50 PM
Response to Original message
1. It's a big grey area.
Edited on Mon Sep-10-07 06:52 PM by Kutjara
The difference between being "asked" to accompany the police and being "arrested" is a murky line. The rule of thumb is that you're not under arrest unless a police officer says you are, but it's still a good idea to say "can I go?" or "are we done?" before walking off, in case the cop has "mentally" arrested you and just not got around to telling you yet.

There are a million and one things cops can charge someone who resists being grabbed and bundled into a squadcar with. If "resisting arrest" looks like it won't fly, they'll try "creating a disturbance," "disturbing the peace," "assaulting an officer" or "obstructing an officer in the performance of his/her duties." Believe me, in America today, you are committing a crime just by existing, so it's best to proceed on the assumption that cops can pretty much arrest you whenever they feel like it, confident in the knowledge that there'll be something on the books to charge you with. The only thing that's keeping you out of jail is the fact that the average cop just doesn't want to be bothered with all the paperwork.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. "The only thing that's keeping you out of jail is the fact that the average cop just doesn't want
to be bothered with all the paperwork."

That's an awesome line. Great response.
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TomInTib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:51 PM
Response to Original message
2. One can be "charged" with anything a cop wants to cite one for.
Indictment and conviction are wholly different matters.
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hang a left Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:37 PM
Response to Reply #2
15. You know what else they can do...legally???
They can load you up with a bunch of bullshit charges (felonies, mind you); present an affidavit to a magistrate, and set an astronomical bail amount. This assures that you will have to fight your case from inside of a county jail somewhere, for a year or more. With only a over-worked, under-paid public defender who hasn't the experience nor the resources the DAs' office has.

Welcome to the world of the justice system, especially during election season.
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TomInTib Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. A really good friend of mine is ex-DA of Marin County.
And ex- Deputy Att'y General of the State of California.

He can tell some horrifying tales regarding exactly what you wrote.
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 06:58 PM
Response to Original message
3. Yes you can be charged with resisting arrest
Edited on Mon Sep-10-07 06:59 PM by Gman
even though no other charges are filed. That decision is up to the District Attorney. However, circumstances would likely dictate whether or not you're charged or not. As they say, you can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. What if you weren't arrested in the first place?
Edited on Mon Sep-10-07 07:01 PM by Evoman
Lets say the cop just wants to talk to you, and not arrest you. And you run. And he catches you....could you be charged? And would it hold up?
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:07 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. If you run don't get caught. Otherwise just walk away.
You are not obliged to stay and chat with the nice officer. Just walk away.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:24 PM
Response to Reply #7
12. A person should state that to the officer though.
If the officer is working any kind of case or call and you simply walk away when questioned, doing that might get you arrested for impeding the investigation. What you should do, in that situation, is state flat out, "Officer, I am not legally required to talk to you. Unless you are arresting me, I will be leaving now". That will force him to either formally detain you or go bug someone else.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #12
16. exactly.
But don't get caught up in the nice officer's world of misery to begin with. Don't put yourself in a situation where you have to make this sort of decision.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:05 PM
Response to Original message
6. No, there has to be a basis for an underlying arrest.
They usually throw something in like disorderly conduct or a salty hamburger.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
8. Yes.
If the police tell you to come with them, do so. Ask for your/an attorney.

If it is a false arrest, deal with that later.
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Xithras Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. Yes
An arrest is independent of being charged, which is why the police can arrest you without ever charging you for anything. Since resisting arrest is a criminal offense itself, the very act of resistance becomes a prosecutable offense.

Besides, most jurisdictions today have "Interfering with the duties of a police officer" laws on the books, which make the whole point moot anyway. They have you one way or the other.

If you're truly innocent of the crime, resisting simply provides them with a legal basis to imprison you, where one might not have existed before. Once an officer states that you're under arrest, running or resisting is stupid (going limp is OK though, since there is a fine legal line between not cooperating and actual "resistance").
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Right.
If a police office tells you to come with him/her, go quietly, and assume that you are being arrested. Be polite. Ask for a lawyer. Do not resist.
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JerseygirlCT Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
10. Yup. I've watched it happen up close and personal
And it was pretty traumatic, I have to say.

Let's just say watch out for short NYC Transit cops. This one had a huge chip on his short little shoulder and took it out on someone I care about. Beat him and then arrested him for resisting arrest...

Are you ok?
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DemGa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:29 PM
Response to Original message
13. Of course, your better judgment has no bearing here
Edited on Mon Sep-10-07 07:51 PM by DemGa
Unless you are certain you can get away. Needless to say, you'd better make it.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:30 PM
Response to Original message
14. Normally turns into disturbing the peace or something like that.
Possibly refusing to obey a law officer.

Courts have been reluctant to prosecute cases in which there was no problem until the police officer arrived.

But you have to have a lawyer that realizes that.

My cousin got convicted of disturbing the peace when he was walking home from a bar, peacefully and under control, and refused a ride home from a deputy. He was doing the responsible thing by not driving and got punished for it. It should have been thrown out because there was no problem until the police arrived.

Now that we have a police state, citizens don't have many rights left. It's best to "Sir, Yessir!" when confronted by a law officer. Many are fine & decent people but a significant percentage are total assholes who pursued the job just to power-trip.

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porphyrian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-10-07 07:45 PM
Response to Original message
17. If you are resisting any arrest, you are resisting arrest.
The legality of these situations is to be decided in court, not on the scene of the arrest. You are expected to comply with arresting officers, and doing so will go much further towards your exoneration in court, especially if you intend to sue.
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