In Alaska, like other states, a police officer can charge you if you try to resist being arrested. The circumstances when this could happen include either you were fleeing from a police officer or you were involved in a physical struggle and in both situations you were trying to stop the officer arresting you. The officer doesn’t always have to produce a warrant before an arrest but can take this action if there is probable cause that you were about to commit a crime or you were actually in the process of committing a crime.
Factors concerning resisting an arrest
Typically if you resist an arrest and you have obstructed the officer from carrying out his duty to carry out the arrest you can be charged. When you attend court the prosecutor needs to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, all the factors related to the crime that proves you are guilty. These factors could include the following:
- you intentionally obstructed or resisted an arrest;
- you knew or there was little doubt that the individual you were resisting was a police officer;
- threatening to be violent;
- the duties being carried out by the officer were done lawfully.
Penalties for resisting arrest
The penalties for resisting arrest vary from state to state, but in Alaska it is classified as a Class A misdemeanor. This means if convicted for resisting arrest you may end up with jail time of up to a year, a fine of up to $10,000, probation or a period of community service.
Defenses when facing a charge of resisting arrest
If you believe you shouldn’t have been charged for resisting arrest you may be able to use the follow defenses to prove that you did nothing wrong:
- you may be able to claim self-defense if the officer attempting to arrest you used unnecessary force and you were protecting yourself;
- the arrest was unlawful as the officer involved had no probable cause to arrest you or there was no arrest warrant present;
- the officer was not injured;
- if the officer failed to provide formal identity or was not wearing a uniform at the time the resisting arrest took place so you had no way of knowing he was a police officer.
If you are in a situation where the officer attempting to conduct the arrest was doing it for a crime you had not committed it is better to let the arrest take place than trying to resist as this will mean you have committed a crime. If the police officer clearly made a mistake and there was no probable cause for arresting you then you will most likely be freed without you having to take any further action. You are entitled to consult a lawyer who will ensure you take the right step to ensure you don’t get charged for something you did not do.
Avoid a conviction by consulting an Alaska criminal defense attorney
If you believe you have a good reason for resisting an arrest you should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney as you do not want a criminal conviction resulting in a criminal record if you haven’t committed a crime. Once this has happened it is far harder to fit into ordinary everyday life because it is more difficult to get a job and a decent place to live. An Alaska criminal defense attorney will help to ensure your rights are protected and help to determine the best route to take when mounting a defense on your behalf so that you avoid penalties for a crime you did not commit.
In Anchorage, contact the Law Office of Dattan Scott Dattan as soon as you have been arrested. He will fight to represent you in court. Call Dattan Scott Dattan’s office in Anchorage at 907-276-8008.